“Prayer vs. Meditation,” by Andrew J. Schatkin
Dear Friends: I have to say that meditation has become somewhat fashionable in our society and there are many persons and groups offering meditation but promoting it along with many who claim a religion and faith system often called spirituality. These may be called for want of a better word fads and in their being offered to the public are often connected with commerce and money much as Christmas and Easter. Clearly Christian religious festivals have become essentially commercial events. So what are we to say about prayer and meditation? There is a great divide here. Prayer is a personal encounter with Christ who is and claims to be god. That is, prayer for the Christian is coming to know and have a relationship with a personal god, Christ. Meditation is a vague way of some sort of search within the person for something, one would say spirituality. It is not directed outside to another but is an ego encounter to find something and look for something by self. There is no person and no love in this search and encounter. Prayer is an encounter with another based on love and interchange. In meditation, we look for something or someone not knowing what we are looking for or where it can be found. Meditation is a vague quest leading to nothing and nowhere but self and emptiness. Prayer for the Christian leads to Jesus of Nazareth. For me, prayer to Jesus and finding him in prayer leaves me with no other alternative, whether meditation or a stone idol. Both are insufficient and wanting.