You are right it is often difficult to find a proper balance when it comes to scriptural doctrines, as some are, according to Peter "hard to understand".
Thankfully we have God's word to set things straight assuming we accept it as the ultimate authority influencing our beliefs.
I would like to point out that in Hebrew and Greek there are a number of words with different meaning often transliterated "worship". Some translations completely overlook at times the distinction and nuances intended.
A few examples:
hish·ta·chawah′ :Bow down,or do obedience
sa·ghadh′: Prostate oneself
la·treu′o: Rendering sacred service
pro·sky·ne′o: Obeisance to a king
eu·se·be′o: Venerat, revere or Godly devotion
se·ba′zo·mai: revere; venerate; worship
the·o·se′bei·a: combination of “God” and “service (like Gottesdienst)
qan·naʼ: exclusive devotion; jealous
From this incomplete list , we can see how misunderstanding could occur with a translations using the generic transliteration "worship" .
For instance in Daniel 2:46 Nebuchadnezzar was paying homage "sa·ghadh"(prostrating himself) to Daniel.
Another example is (Genesis 19:1) . . .When Lot caught sight of them, then he got up to meet them and bowed down (hish·ta·chawah) with his face to the earth. . .
The expression "qan.na' however is used only in reference to the creator and to no one else.
(Exodus 20:5) . . .You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion (Heb., ʼEl qan·naʼ′; Gr., The·os′ ze·lo·tes′).
In Hebrews 1:6 the angels render obeisance (pro·sky·ne′o) to the resurrected Jesus Christ. Many translations of this text here wrongly render pro·sky·ne′o as “worship,” while some render it by such expressions as “bow before” (AT; Yg) and ‘pay homage’ (NE).
No matter what English term is used, the original Greek remains the same and the understanding of what it is that the angels render to Christ must accord with the rest of the Scriptures.
Jesus himself emphatically stated to Satan that “it is Jehovah your God you must give your worship [form of pro·sky·ne′o], and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.
in Psalm 97:7 or Hebrews 1:6 the renderings “bow before” and ‘pay homage’ (instead of “worship”) are in harmony with the original language, either in Psalm 97:7 or Hebrews 1:6, for such translations convey the basic sense of both hish·ta·chawah′ and pro·sky·ne′o.
Jesus upheld this dictate(to worship only God) numerous times but nowhere is Jesus’ exclusive devotion to his Father exemplified more than in what is written of him at 1 Corinthians 15:24,28, where it says that, after his heavenly Kingdom rule he (Jesus) will put down all authority...and subjects himself to Him so that “God may be all things to everyone.”
As regards to prayer, ” The entire Scriptural record testifies that Jehovah is the One to whom prayer should be directed to (Ps 5:1, 2;) and that he is the “Hearer of prayer” (Ps 65:2; 66:19) .
Jesus confirmed this point saying we should pray to the father (Mt 6:9). Not a single scripture support praying to anyone else.