People who want balance and control over their lives often ended up finding prayer and meditation as beneficial practices.
There are many different methods of meditation and that leads to obvious questions like Do meditation and prayer are same? what is the difference between prayer and meditation? Does prayer have the same benefits as meditation?
There are several common benefits of prayer and meditation. Although meditation can offer all such benefits that prayer could give because meditation is a vast field that includes various different techniques including prayer too.
Let me explain those benefits in detail with some scientific evidences.
Benefits Of Prayer According to scientific Studies
One experiment was done to check the relationship between the frequency of prayer and its effect on mental and physical health and the result suggested that a high frequency of doing prayer has a more positive effect on mental health.
Another clinical study was performed to check the relationship between health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and other mental problems and the frequency of private prayer. Again the results indicated that People with frequent private prayer can benefit more in depression, anxiety, coping, and other mental health conditions.
Generally, prayer is a way of expressing gratitude from the bottom of the heart toward the higher consciousness or god thus in return, one gets feeling of joy, compassion, love, contentment, peace, satisfaction, fulfillment, etc.
Because when we pray with positive feelings and emotions, these same feelings and emotions arouse in our mind, and in return, we get the same.
Benefits Of Meditation According to scientific Studies
Here’s are the list of studies that suggest the health benefits of practicing meditation regularly.
- The 8-weeks study on mindfulness meditation reduced the inflammation caused by stress.
- Transcendental meditation was proved more effective than usual and alternate treatments for coping with anxiety.
- Mindfulness meditation may improve creative thinking (1*).
- Meditation may improve self-awareness and self-cognition(2*).
- Mindfulness meditation may improve the attention span in Novices(3*).
- Doing different meditation techniques can be effective in age-related memory decline (4*).
- Kindness-based meditation showed significant benefits on well-being and social interaction its increase peoples’ compassion toward themselves and others (5*).
- Mindfulness meditation may fight against addictions by improving self-discipline and awareness that help to break the triggers and dependencies of addiction (6*).
- Mindfulness meditation can be a viable treatment and alternative to other treatments for adults who are suffering from chronic insomnia and other sleep-related disorders (7*).
- Mindfulness meditation can decrease the symptoms of chronic pain, depression, and low-quality life (8*).
- Practicing transcendental meditation may significantly reduce blood pressure especially among older patients with a high BP (9*, 10*).
As I said before, Meditation can be practiced in many different ways and each technique may give different positive outcomes. However, most of the benefits are common and largely depend on your method of doing.
Most people use prayer to ask for material assets or make a two-way deal with god, rather than be thankful for what they have. That’s why most of them are derived from the true gold of prayer.
In other words, They pray to god when they want something for themselves or when they are in trouble seek help from god. This self-fish attitude is the wrong way of praying, It often leads to sorrow and misery.
In order to understand prayer, You must understand the universal law, which states, the karmas (The sum of acts which have been done through manas or Mind) which you have done or are doing now will influence your future and that decide your fate.
In simple words, what you through at the wall, you will get the same. Positive karmas give Positive results and Negative karmas lead to Negative results.
For example, when you become angry or jealous on someone, notice, how upset and miserable you become. First, you have to burn that fire in yourself, then it can be transmitted to another person.
For instance, when you spread love and joy, notice, you become a joyful happy person, which means, you got the joy and happiness by distributing them. These feelings may last long after the end of the scene.
The correct way of doing prayer
Prayer is a way of expressing gratitude towards God. It’s one-way communication from a person to higher consciousness.
Express gratitude for this precious life, for things we have, for people we have got, for beautiful experiences which we have gathered, for the achievements we have gained, etc.
There should be no place for grievance and selfish begging in prayer because we don’t have this authority to do so, accept everything, and consider that everything happens for our good.
How does prayer differ from Meditation?
Prayer is your speaking to God, and Meditation allows God to communicate to you in the form of intuitions.
The methods of doing prayer and Meditation are very distinct. As I explained, prayer is the way of expressing gratitude to God, and Meditation is the practice of focusing the mind on the particular object or observing thoughts and feelings.
Through Meditation, one can gain control over the wavering mind, and then by concentrating its power onto purpose, one could touch to that higher consciousness or God.
While in prayer, one can do it by purifying the mind and heart through devotion and faith. Love is divine in nature and has spiritual power. One who has true faith and devotion towards the deity can reach that divine state.
Meditation and prayer are just two different ways to attain the same purpose.
Similarities Between prayer and Meditation
There is one meditation technique called loving-kindness Meditation that is similar to prayer. In which, You send positive feelings such as love, kindness, gratitude, compassion, etc., towards the deity and persons of your family, friends, relatives, and enemies also.
During the prayer, you can be meditative because when you do that, you are in a present moment and guiding your mind through the emotions and thoughts. Thus, we can correlate between prayer and Meditation.
What you do in prayer can be done in meditation, and you can reach the state of meditation while praying. like this, we can correlate prayer and meditation.
According to health benefits, Meditation and prayer could improve mental well-being by coping with stress, anxiety, and depression and producing positive feelings.
Does Prayer help in Meditation?
Yes, including prayer in the Meditation makes practice richer. You should include prayer at the start, end, or both of Meditation.
Prayer generates positive emotions and feelings that relax and calm down the mind, which is necessary during Meditation.
You can’t meditate properly with the anger, anxiety, and hatred in mind, so adding prayer in Meditation cultivates many benefits.
Thus, You should include prayer in Meditation.
What to choose Meditation or prayer?
Rather than choosing anyone, try to practice both. Meditation with prayer is the best way of enhancing your well-being.
But remember, you should practice both Meditation and prayer with consistency. Even 10-15 minutes a day of practice brings many benefits.
Meditation and prayer both have many common benefits. However, due to vivid meditation techniques, you could enhance your body and mind in various dimensions and leverage more than doing prayer.
But, I insist you practice both every day. Include prayer in Meditation is a perfect ritual for you.
Make sure you develop regular routine to practice these methods, it’s the best way to develop overall well-being.