In the Gospel Jesus told us to pray always. Since he would not want us to be mumbling prayers day and night, we should find another way of obeying him in this. That other way has to do with the last of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are enumerated in Chapter Eleven of the Book of Isaiah the Prophet. The first five are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude and Knowledge. The last of them is Fear of the Lord, and Isaiah emphasized its importance by saying, “His delight shall be fear of the Lord.”
There are two parts to fear of the Lord. The first part is our awareness of being in God’s presence. The second part is behaving properly because we are in his presence.
If a teacher for whom you have respect is at his or her desk at the front of the room, you do not experience the slightest desire to be clownish. It would hurt you if one of your classmates who acted disrespectfully.
Once when I was teaching at Bishop Kenny, on being called to the office, I asked a girl named Cleo to sit up front in my place. When I came back, finding the room in chaos, I complained, but the kids said, “We don’t like Cleo.” To that I said, “Cleo was taking my place, so in being disrespectful to her, you were being disrespectful to me.” That doesn’t quite explain what Jesus meant by praying always, but perhaps it is somewhere in the same ballpark.
Getting back to behaving properly because we are in God’s presence, we can quote the old Latin adage “Labore est orare.” That means “To work is to pray.” It is telling us that one way of praying is that of giving ourselves entirely to the tasks God wants us to perform.