When we have a powerful practice called Meditation, why prayer?

Does the prayer deals with the worldly things, because everyone pray to god like I want a car or I wanna be rich. Is that only deals with the law of attraction.

So what are the difference between them. Does prayer too take us to levels of enlightenment. How effective is Meditation compared to prayer.

  • What form of prayer, what school of Buddhism, are you asking about? Can you give an example of, a reference to, what you're asking about?
    – ChrisW
    Apr 12, 2018 at 9:25
  • @ChrisW No I dont reference any form of prayer or meditation here. I just ask what's the basic difference between them.
    – RBK
    Apr 12, 2018 at 9:47
  • 1
    "Prayer" is described (e.g. Is there a difference between prayer and petition? and What is prayer?) on Christianity.SE -- prayer may be "petitionary" (i.e. asking for things) but is not necessarily. Whether prayer is petitionary, what forms of prayer there are and how they're described, varies some from one (Christian) Church to another. I don't know what you mean by "prayer" though, what you understand as being prayer, an example of prayer, in a Buddhist context.
    – ChrisW
    Apr 12, 2018 at 10:21
  • The closest analogy I know (i.e. to a practice which is maybe like prayer) is this topic (which, again, describes a specific form of Buddhism).
    – ChrisW
    Apr 12, 2018 at 10:32
  • 1
    Prayer doesn't take us to higher levels of Enlightenment.Where did you read this? You should reference and narrow down the question.Too broad and should be closed
    – user13064
    Apr 12, 2018 at 22:26

2 Answers 2


Theravāda buddhism has only reciting, we don't have prayer. Reciting is like when you want to speak thai language, you have to recite thai vocabulary and thai grammar to memorize it for using it in every where and every time you want to speak in thai.

So, when you want to practice follow the buddha, you have to memorize the buddha's teaching, first.

Also, there are many types of reciting in buddhism, which depending on situation, such as:

  1. Reciting for meditation of the practitioner, such as in Sutta. Aṅ. (5): dasakanipātā Dutiyanalakapānasuttaṃ.
  2. Reciting for keep tipitaka going on of the tipitaka-memorizer, such as in 1st saṅgāyanā.
  3. Reciting in thai tradition, which follow to the virtual chapter of the path of purification.

The definition of "prayer" in the Oxford dictionary:

1 A solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or another deity.

1.1 (prayers) A religious service, especially a regular one, at which people gather in order to pray together.

1.2 An earnest hope or wish.

A popular Buddhist prayer (based on the definition of "an earnest hope or wish") from the Karaniya Metta Sutta can be found below. The benefits of this prayer can be found in this answer.

Think: Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large, middling, short,
subtle, blatant, seen & unseen,
near & far, born & seeking birth:
May all beings be happy at heart.

Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.

As a mother would risk her life
to protect her child, her only child,
even so should one cultivate a limitless heart
with regard to all beings.

With good will for the entire cosmos,
cultivate a limitless heart:
Above, below, & all around, unobstructed,
without enmity or hate.
Whether standing, walking,
sitting, or lying down,
as long as one is alert,
one should be resolved on this mindfulness.
This is called a sublime abiding
here & now.

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