Prayer and meditation are like two roads. Prayer is always for our own sake, for our own life, for the near and dear ones in our own small world. If we pray well, God will give us two wings to fly above. But meditation is for the entire world. When we meditate well, we feel our oneness with our own expanded reality. If we can follow the road of meditation, we are hero-warriors. At that time we can carry on our giant shoulders the entire burden of humanity. When we fulfil our meditation-life, we fulfil not only God but also ourselves and the entire world.
For those who want to realise the Highest, I always say that meditation is of paramount importance. But there have been saints in the West who have realised God through prayer only. They did not know the concept of meditation. But the intensity of their prayers and their aspiration carried them into the world of meditation and beyond. Both approaches are effective. When we pray, we go up to God; when we meditate, God comes down to us. Ultimately the result can be the same.