Let me start, apropos of nothing, with a revised line from my journal this morning because it allows me to think about some beautiful things.
"Life without prayer is Life-in-Death."
Originally, I said, "half-life." But then I thought of Coleridge's poem and the remarkable image of Death and a woman casting dice for the Mariner's fate.
from "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.
Life-in-Death wins the Ancient Mariner. And it's interesting that the first part of the description of Life-in-Death is rather attractive in a seductive sort of way. And even white skin is lovely until we reach "as leprosy."
Life without prayer is succumbing to Life-in-Death--a life of sensuality that misses the point of life at all--not really living, but living in Death.
We have a choice--God or anything else because God has made it clear that He is not a God of half-measures, and He will let us have our choice. Not easily, He'll fight for us, but if we insist, He will not overwhelm us and subdue our wills to his choice.
And so, life without prayer is life without God and not a life at all.