When we pray, we are in a sense talking to God. When we meditate, we might say that we are in essence listening to God. In reality, of course, the situation is far from being such a binary one.
In praying – in talking – we are undoubtedly engaged, undoubtedly aware. Even at its most basic level we can claim that we are deep in a sort of spiritual therapy, talking to a silent listener whom we know / believe understands us and cares for us. In that light, prayer is undoubtedly therapeutic. In that light, within the silence of the ‘unknown’ listener we can find answers. Whether they be answers from deep within ourselves, or answers from deep within the Silence of God, hardly matters.
In meditation – in listening – we are also undoubtedly engaged, undoubtedly aware. Now, though, the silent listener is ourselves, and within our silence we can reach equally deep and equally therapeutic understanding. Do we touch the infinite universe beyond ourselves? Or is the infinite universe forever within us? It hardly matters.