From the DailyOm site:
Meditation and prayer can offer us different experiences and both can be powerful tools. Prayer and meditation are similar practices in that they both offer us a connection to the divine, but they also differ from one another in significant ways:
Prayer is when we ask God for something or give thanks. Meditation, on the other hand, has a silent quality that honors the art of receptivity When we pray, we use language to express our innermost thoughts and feelings to a higher power. Sometimes, we plumb the depths within ourselves and allow whatever comes to the surface to flow out in our prayer. At other times, use formal prayers, poems, psalms, prayers written by another but that express what we want to say. Prayer is reaching out to the universe with questions, pleas for help, gratitude, and praise.
When we meditate, we cease movement and allow the activity of our minds and hearts to go on without us in a sense. Eventually, we fall into a deep silence, a place that underlies all the noise and fray of daily human existence. In this place, it becomes possible for us to hear the universe as it speaks for itself, responds to our questions, or sits with us in its silent way.
Both prayer and meditation are indispensable tools for navigating our relationship with the universe and with ourselves. They are also natural complements to one another, and one makes way for the other just as the crest of a wave gives way to its hollow