I'm not the first person to appraise personal spiritual philosophy in a Blog. But, with a nod to the season, here's my take -- just in case you are interested:
While I do believe in a higher power, I do not believe the universe is micromanaged, or proactively directed on a consistent basis. I note the position of the brilliant secular humanist and author Michael Shermer, who posits that we are pattern-seeking animals, and are so because of pattern-seeking advantages for survival. We do tend to delegate patterns to pretty much everything we see.
I believe in cause-and-effect, but I do think that we are able to realize the difference between cause-and-effect, and speculation about what the effects will be, or what causes the effects now experienced. Here, I think, we must do the delicate dance between recognizing the unity of everything with, and the role of documentation in seeking to quantify understandable patterns in the explicable.
I do believe, however, that a singularity -- a single equation, or whatever one might want to call it, is the engine in the boiler room of at least this universe, and that occasionally, this singularity spawns patterns of actions and consequences. Some of them are cosmological, and others pertain to the interaction between two living beings -- human or not.
So, I guess what I am saying is that I believe in the causality loop, and that everything is connected. It is a brilliant dance that is at the heart of all that is knowable. While not an atheist, I do not believe the causality loop is managed, or knowable. Rather than that causality loop, and that universal connectivity being part of the job description for a super being some call God, I believe that the universal connectivity *is* what some call God.
I believe that when we pray, we tap into that universal connectivity. Perhaps assisted by a deceased interlocutor with more ready access to the universal connectivity than we mortals have available, prayer and contemplation can change things for us. And to me, that truth makes everything just that more sacred.