Prayer is one of the most fundamental ways to commune with the Divine. Through prayer we can invite the Divine into our lives and allow the transcendent to transform our lives for the better. There are many ways to pray. One way is to recite what is considered holy scripture, like the Bible or the Vedas, or the Quran, or the Torah. By reciting these scriptures with the intention of communing with God or the Divine it becomes prayer. Another way is to recite prescribed prayers or mantras like the Lords Prayer or Hail Mary in Christianity or the mantra of the Buddha of compassion in Tibetan Buddhism. Yet another way is to pray according to a certain guideline, like the ACTS guideline in Christianity, which is adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Another way is to pray without a guideline, simply to speak what is in your heart to God or the transcendent. Other ways to pray can include action like dancing, or singing, or service work. Finally, one can pray in silence, what in Christianity is called Centering Prayer, where one simply becomes present to the silence within in order to hear the whisper of the Divine Within. This form of prayer is identical to forms of meditation.
Meditation and Prayer are the same in the sense that they both seek to connect to a deeper place in us. Some forms of prayer involve more activity of the mind like recitation of scriptures or talking to God, whereas meditation can often be more about focus of the mind on a single object and quieting of the mind. Prayer and meditation are two aspects of a full and vibrant spiritual life. Prayer allows for a more personal relationship with the Divine whereas meditation can offer a more transcendent relationship. May you come to know the power of prayer and allow yourself to integrate it with your meditation practice that you may have two great spiritual practices to grow in.