Many of us communicate with God. Some choose to say they pray, while others use the word, meditate. Is there a difference, and if so, what is it?


  • Word is derived from the Latin word precari, meaning:
    • to entreat (which means to beg, or passionately request); or
    • ask.
  • Webster's dictionary definition provides the following additional definitions:
    • ask earnestly;
    • petition (which means to appeal or request from a higher authority); or
    • commune with God.


  • Word is derived from the Latin word meditari, meaning:
    • to consider;
    • contemplate;
    • ponder;
    • think;
    • practice;
    • deliberate;
    • consider;
    • intend; or
    • speak to oneself.
  • Webster's dictionary definition provides the following additional definitions:
    • consider thoughtfully;
    • deep thought; or
    • given to reflection.

While people may agree that both prayer and meditation are spiritual acts, you can definitely discern a distinct difference between the two words. Specifically, the definitions for prayer are characterizations of acts done by someone who believes they are separate from God. If you think you are separate, you can assume you are inferior. Furthermore, if you think you are separate, then God is outside of you, and not within. Each individual meaning of the word prayer validates this premise.


  • Conveys an appeal, as in hearing a case before a superior court;
  • Is a plea for understanding, as plea is the term used by a defendant in answer to a charge (you can only be charged if you are not equal);
  • Is an urgent request, or politely asking for something to be given or done, as would be the case if something is outside of you;
  • Is a desire, a craving for something, as determined if something is missing;
  • Expresses a hope, something that somebody wants to happen or to be true; or
  • Communicates a wish, which is a longing for something to be true.

However, each of the explanations for meditation is a representation of an action by a person who has taken a neutral approach to spirituality. If you are part of the whole, and not separate, then you can be neither inferior nor superior. Furthermore, everything, including the light of God is within.


  • Is consideration, which weighs all possibilities before deciding (as would be the case if you have a neutral opinion of something);
  • Expresses reflection, a mirror image or likeness, determined if you are equal to the spirit of God, or if that spirit is within; or
  • Is a conversation with oneself, indicating an action without the help of another.

The act of meditation is simply focusing one's attention on something. You can make the same analogy for prayer. The differences between the two lie in one's understanding of the connection to the spirit of God. It is your choice; choose wisely.

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Author's Bio: 

Cindy L. Herb, author of Awakening the Spirit: The Open Wide Like a Floozy Chronicles, specializes in Mind Body Spirit healing, with concentration on emotional healing for Rape Victims and Physical or Sexual Abuse Survivors. As an inspirational speaker, Cindy L. Herb offers others an alternative approach to healing from any trauma, allowing people to view life's tribulations as an opportunity for spiritual growth. To download your FREE report, Some Helpful Steps to Healing, please visit the author's website at