I still like the King James, "Pray without ceasing."
"Pray all the time!" is good, too.
Do I have to pray? Is there a minimum requirement? Some religions emphasize a particular number of times to pray each day. Christians haven't been given a number, and the ambiguous "Pray continually" translates into "Pray once or twice a day… over your meal… maybe."
Was the last nationwide impromptu push for prayer on September 11, 2001?
Is prayer essential? No, it isn't.
I don't mean by that, "God doesn't demand that we pray." I mean that many of us do not consider prayer essential enough to do it persistently. I'm not basing that conclusion on a survey where the question was asked, "Do Christians consider prayer to be important?" I'm basing it on my personal observation that worshippers of God have not prayed as often or as fervently as we would if prayer were truly essential to our lives.
Don't wait to pray in your closet or in a room where there are no disruptions. Pray now. When someone tells you some good news, pray with them – right then and there. When a sister voices her concerns, pray with her – right then and there. When you're talking on the phone with a brother who is job hunting, pray with him – right then and there. When you are texting someone stuck in their home with the flu, text them a prayer.
Pray all the time! That's Essential Prayer! That's Life at Work!