Prayer is not a stratagem for occasional use, a refuge to resort to now and then. It is rather like an established residence for the innermost self. All things have a home: the bird has a nest, the fox has a hole, the bee has a hive. A soul without prayer is a soul without a home.
Abraham Joshua Heschel, with thanks to inward/outward
Over the years, praying the Jesus Prayer becomes like this: a refuge, a place to stand however rough things get, leaning close to the heart of Jesus, with one’s head against the wood of the Cross itself. Bishop Kallistos Ware has a long, excellent article entitled The Jesus Prayer—Inwardness, if you’re interested to read more about this. Highly recommended reading.