Many people are under a misapprehension that Buddhists pray to idols. This is due to a lack of knowledge of the teaching of the Buddha and Buddhist customs and traditions.
Buddhists do not normally pray to images and idols; what they do is to pay homage to a great religious teacher who is worthy of honour. The images are erected as a mark of respect and appreciation for the highest achievement of enlightenment and perfection by an extraordinary religious teacher. To a Buddhist the image is merely a token, a symbol, a representation which helps him to recall or to remember the Buddha.
Buddhists kneel before the image and pay their respects to what that image represents.