Prayer and meditation are not the same. I can speak for meditation as I am Indian and not to be stereotypical but meditation and its importance was very clearly stressed to me in a yoga class I took a few years ago. Meditation is the allowance of time purely for yourself - body and soul - to, simply put, let yourself be.
Whereas prayer for me is the request made to someone other than yourself, some higher entity wherever your faith resides, at times for help or for strength or whatever the heart, mind or body desires.
In short, meditation is what you do for the peace of your body and soul and prayer for the happiness and most of the time, longevity of your life and also that of those around you. :)