What is the Difference Between Prayer and Meditation ?
prayer – you are focusing outward – communicating to or with another being/deity in an attempt to seek answers or help.
meditation – you are focusing inward and within in an attempt to seek serenity.
in my opinion, anyway.
i prefer meditation.
The main difference between prayer and meditation is that
the prayer is the way of love and surrender to the unknown God to know the ultimate reality,
where as meditation is the individual way of will and the wisdom to know the ultimate reality of the self and the existence.
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in short :
The basic idea behind most forms of meditation is to focus the mind on turning inward, to pay attention to your inner self and center your consciousness so that your mind is open and clear. During meditation, the purpose of this inward concentration is to remove all outside distractions and quiet the chatter inside your head so that you can hear the voice of God.
Prayer is essentially the exact opposite of meditation. During prayer, you clear your mind of all outside distractions in order to be able to focus your thoughts on the prayer itself and the answers you hope to find by praying.
Prayer consists of a sequence of steps that provide a sense of communion and communication between the believer and the Divine, as the believer understands the nature of God
Prayer requires faith in the aspect or form of the Divine to which you pray, whereas meditation does not require faith. Meditation witnesses, studies or interacts with whatever is visualized at the focal point of attention.
In essence, we meditate so that God can speak to us: we pray so that we can speak to God.
Meditation is pre requisite to prayer. When your mind is free from mundane thoughts , as in meditation , you start communicating with the Almighty and that is prayer.
In relation to the faith,
there is NO difference between prayer and meditation,
because, both are coming in – Theism.
Theism – in the broadest sense is the belief in at least one deity.
Monotheism – is the belief that there is only one deity.
Polytheism – is the belief that there is more than one deity
The sequence of a prayer consists of pranayama to make your mid calm, then the dhayana sloka to visualise the brahaman in the form made out of the 5 elements and prayer is a hymn extoling the visualised form the three are essential because the calm mind can visualise the form better and only when you have a form fixed can you talk to it,
Jiddu Krishnamurti : We must differentiate between prayer and meditation. What do we mean by prayer? Generally it means supplication or petition. You demand, beg, or ask from what you call God, something which you want. To put it plainly it means that you are in need and you pray. You are in suffering and you pray. You are mentally confused and you pray. That is, you petition or you supplicate somebody to tell you what to do.
To whom are you praying? You say to God. But surely God or Truth is something unknown and which cannot be formulated. If you say I know God it is no longer God. God and Truth are not created. it must come to you and you cannot go to it and ask. When you ask you are creating it and therefore it ceases to be God or Truth. So before you ask, you must know whether you want peace from God, that is, Truth.
When you yourself create this chaos in this world you look to another for help. So God cannot give you peace, because it is your fabrication. What is the good of praying? Is not then prayer an escape? Please do not bring personalities into it. Let us think about it directly. It does not matter who prays. Once a person in America came to see me and he said that he had prayed to God to give him a refrigerator and he said that he had the refrigerator. But you pay for it in the end.
Praying is praying for one Supernatural Being or many of them. Meditation is EXPERIENCING what a person really is, in which there cannot be any thoughts of illusions or delusions at all. Supernatural elements are not involved in the Buddhist meditation that I know of , which is known as ‘Vidarshana’ meditation. [ ‘v’- beyond : ‘darshana’ = see ] REALITY felt as experience in meditation is not the same as what we see as the reality of a ‘material world’.
Prayer is an effort to communicate with God, while meditation can be a mental focus on just about anything – God, pizza, or your own navel. 🙂
Prayer is communication with God, meditation is just a calming, focusing, mind-clearing exercise