The words prey and pray are pronounced same, but have different meanings.
The word prey is a noun.
Meanings: quarry; victim. It is generally used with reference to an animal that is hunted by other animals, but could also be used with reference to humans.
The word pray is a verb. It can be used in three different ways.
(a) It could refer to the act of praying to God.
(b) Other meanings: implore; plead; beg; ask; entreat; request; urge.
(c) In another sense it also means: hope; wish; yearn; crave.
Examples of prey:
1. The deer strayed away from the herd and instantly became prey to the tiger.
2. Late night walkers became a prey to the psychopath.
3. If you are hard working and submit your work on time, you will not be a prey to the recent policy of the management to fire lazy staff.
Examples of pray:
(a) In reference to God:
1. Sandra visited the church daily to pray to God to make her uncle well again.
2. Devotees of Lord Krishna thronged Mathura to pray at the famous temple.
(b) In reference to implore or request:
1. Sweta’s mother told her that perhaps if she went to pray with the neighbours she would be allowed to play in their garden.
2. The lawyer decided that there was no harm in trying to pray to the judge to get a milder sentence for his client.
(c) In reference to hope:
1. Kirti’s parents told her that they would pray she would not do anything stupid.
2. The basketball team coach was aware the players were aggressive and knew it would be pointless to pray that they would commit few fouls.