When we think of prayer, we often envision a kneeling position with folded hands, perhaps in a church, or an adoration chapel. To meditate for a while each day and be united in friendship with God is something that makes sense to people who know how to make good use of their lives.
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Escriva, said contradictory things about payer, mostly downgrading the need for real prayer.
The idea that work is prayer was specifically condemned by fathers of the Church for centuries.
We must have looked rather peculiar to anyone who saw us and did not know what we were up to: sitting on the ground in silence, which was interrupted only by the reading of some points for meditation. It makes you think of books with old black covers, the sound of sighs, and the irksome repetition of routine prayers.

Josemaria never downgraded mental prayer, on the contrary, said it should precede any activity, whether work, apostolate, or whatever endeavour you were to embark (In fact, members of Opus Dei try to do one hour of prayer daily, no matter what.). After a long days of outdoor training in the last day, in the last night, in a personal solo night reflection, during personal development training, I quote this and share as one of reading meditation where all participants starts their reflection from.
The Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. Our Father, Hail Mary. But you need prayer, and not only the habitual prayer as an exercise of devotion; you also need to pray during odd moments, to pray between times, instead of allowing your mind to wander on stupidities. That prayer under the open sky, hammering away for everyone there with us, for the Church, for souls, was fruitful and pleasing to Heaven. This is a clever trick to have people work, give money to OD and make them feel like that it is their only obligation. He only said that, APART from mental prayer, everything you do can be offered to God and therefore becomes prayer.
Josemria Escriva, in The Furrow, discusses prayer in a way that reveals other prayer opportunities and that challenges the modern Catholic to consider meditative prayer with new eyes.

It does not matter if, in spite of your effort, you do not manage to concentrate and be recollected. To meditate is to consider, to contemplate God as your Father, and yourself as his son and in need of help. We despise SPAM, and it nearly always promotes what is completely opposed to what we believe The Good Life is. It is time for OD to couragioulsy look at this weakness, and correct this error of their founder. We are always doing the same thing, for everything can be prayer, all activity can and should lead us to God, nourish our intimate dealings with him, from morning to night. Saint Benedict made the clear distinction between prayer, that he called Opus Dei, and human work, well done, which is also offered to God, but is distinct from payer.

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