When we pray, often there is a subtle desire for something, a hankering to get something or to become something. We may call it aspiration because we are praying to become good, or to have something divine which we do not have, or to be free from fear, jealousy, doubt and so forth. But there is always a subtle tendency on our part to push or pull from within.
Also, there is always the feeling of being-let us use the term 'a divine beggar'. We feel that God is high above, while we are down below. We see a yawning gulf between His existence and ours. We are looking up at Him and crying to Him, but we do not know when or to what extent God is going to fulfil our prayers. We feel that we are helpless. We just ask, and then we wait for one drop, two drops or three drops of compassion, light or peace to descend upon us. Sometimes there is a feeling of give-and-take. We say, "Lord, I am giving You my prayer, so now You please do something for me. You please help me, save me, fulfil me."
But in meditation we do not ask God for any help, boon or divine quality; we just enter into the sea of His Reality. At that time God gives us more than we could ever imagine. In prayer we feel that we have nothing and God has everything. In meditation we know that whatever God has, either we also have or we will someday have. We feel that whatever God is, we also are, only we have not yet brought our divinity forward. When we pray, we ask God for what we want. But when we meditate, God showers on us everything that we need. We see and feel that the whole universe is at our disposal. Heaven and earth do not belong to someone else; they are our own reality.
The highest prayer is, "Let Thy Will be done." This is absolutely the highest reach of prayer, and it is also the beginning of meditation. Where prayer stops its journey, meditation begins. In meditation we say nothing, we think nothing, we want nothing. In the meditation-world the Supreme is acting in and through us for His own fulfilment. The prayer-world is always asking for something. But the meditation-world says, "God is not blind or deaf. He knows what He has to do to fulfil Himself in and through me. So I shall just grow into the highest in soulful silence."