Venerable Master Xian Jie Hai’s “The Guiding Words of Tusita Heaven’s Deities” states that prayers are a form of confession of one’s thoughts and feelings. It usually has the meaning of requesting as well.
All sentient beings naturally harbour the behaviour to request as all of us wish to be relieved from sufferings and to attain happiness. When we encounter difficulties and are not able to seek happiness, we will naturally want to seek help from others. This is the reason why requests made in prayers are not superstition, but are a way of seeking help and solace.
“The Great Treatise On The Stages Of The Path To Enlightenment” Page 99, fifth sentence from the bottom, states:
In summary, there is only one (the Buddha) who is free of all fears, and who is skilled in the means of freeing others from fear; who has great, impartial compassion for everyone, and who acts for everyone’s welfare regardless if they have benefited him or if they are related to him.
Since only the Buddha has these qualities, he is the only one worthy of us taking refuge in and he is the place for refuge. Hence, his teachings are also worthy for refuge for all Buddhist devotees.
In seeking for the truth of sufferings and joy, the cause of life’s sufferings and what truly is the real joy when all sufferings are totally extinguished, in the path of eliminating sorrows, the Buddha has completely understood its meanings and have truly attained the aim of being liberated from sorrows and attaining joy. So, to those who wish to have true happiness, they should follow the path of the Buddha, and to seek help from the Buddha.
This is not a blinded spiritual sustenance. Therefore, prayers to the Triple Gems is not a form of superstition.
Extracted from: Venerable Master Ru Xing - Bliss and Wisdom Sangha Website of “Buddhism Q&A” Answer