Prayer and meditation are a very important part of my life. They are also an important part of my favorite paths, Twelve Step and Buddhism. Prayer and meditation are honored as the 11th step "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understand God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry it out."
Buddhism considers meditation as the foundation of enlightenment and wisdom, many meditating for many hours a day in silence for years at a time. Many also pray to their ancestors and others, display prayer flags, and use prayer wheels. Although there are many similarities between between prayer and meditation, there are significant differences as well, so have split them up into multiple posts. Look here for prayer, here for meditation, which includes calm abiding and insight meditation.