GOD = UNIVERSE = MYSELF...so when I pray to God to provide me strength so I can pass with flying colors the 'constructive situations' (in layman's term, sometimes even my term: pain/hell/sorrow) of life that He puts me in—I discreetly hope that the universe provides me of all the positive force it can send out to me and secretly wish that I find within me the samie who conquers all troubles that pass by.
...so when I pray to God to help my friend on whatever it is that he or she is going through—I am discreetly asking the universe to move the earth a little farther away from the moon-to lessen the pull of gravity and minimize the negative vibes in the world and secretly hope that I become an instrument for him or her to realize that there is a solution within him or her, that he or she needs to recognize.
...so on and so forth.
fyi only, i don't believe in confession, nor in the Church's concept of 'hell', nor in a whole lot of hullaballoos that the Church and the matrix of good and evil assert. I am a sinner (based on my own matrix); I question some things that religion nor science can't explain at this very age. However, I am not an agnostic, and most definitely I am no atheist. I prefer to be still called a Roman Catholic and keep my spirituality and beliefs, label-less.
Faith is made stronger when you base it in your own context and definition.
there is something behind the throne greater than the king himself
- sir william pitt, house of lords, 1770