I read somewhere – perhaps on Twitter – “Fasting without prayer is dieting“. That is a very good point!
But we could say that penance, in general, should not be without prayer. If we are doing a good Lenten penance it should be difficult. Yes, we may have our little lapses; we may have our little “falls” and have to start again. But in the end, the whole thing will be a lot easier if we make it part of our prayer, offering it to the Lord and asking of Him the strength to make the offering. Then, we will be less likely to have those lapses to begin with… but if we do lapse, it will be easier to start again, with humility and peace.