Prayer is actually very important! I am reading a book about it (The Ways of Mental Prayer by Fr Lehodey, available as a book or from free online) and many other books and saints talk about the importance of prayer.
First, prayer is how we talk with God. If we don’t pray, He doesn’t hear from us. Now, imagine a man telling his wife he’s going away and he’s not going to call her because he wants to relax. Not a good sign…
Second, we owe God prayer in justice, at least 15 minutes a day. He created the world for us, gave us life and the grace of being Carholic, and any good in our lives comes from Him! Christ suffered and died for us! So yes, we should at the very least check in with Him for 15 minutes a day
Third, if we love God, we will spend more than that 15 minutes a day with Him. And the more time we spend with Him, the more we will love Him and the more we will be happy about spending time with Him in prayer.
Now, Fr Lehodey talks in the preface of the need for mental prayer, and that is that it leavens the spirituality of the person (he put it better…). Without mental prayer, he says, our prayer life becomes flat and routine.
So we must not only pray, we must engage in mental prayer. And this should be done every day because that works best.
One thing he says is that mortification detaches us from this world, and prayer unites us to God. Without prayer, any pain or mortification we suffer is just painful to us because we are not uniting with God.
And another priest I heard giving a talk said that we have had a collapse of me tal prayer ove rthe past few decades because *so much *emphasis was put on vocal prayer. But Vocal prayer is very much elementary: it develops good habits, we learn from it, we continue to use it, but we must move on, just as we move on from learning ±x & /, iyswim.
And finally, there are saints who agree that those who pray will be saved, and those who don’t will not be saved. Prayer is indeed extremely important!