Prayer is the journey to the kingdom: the arrival is union with God. The kingdom is not far from us, but is within us. The union with God that the saintly fathers experienced is the end of all endeavours: corporal acts of mercy, the labor of the soul, or perseverance in spiritual contemplation. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid for me a crown of righteousness” (2 Tim 4.7).
(Matthew the Poor, Orthodox Prayer Life: The Interior Way, p. 113)