Hypnosis is nothing but imagination, which is how our consciousness changes itself. In meditation we should therefore focus not only on how it is, but also on how it could be more balanced, which can be done by imagining it as an energy in association it with sensations. Religion is a form of hypnosis, and all forms of hypnosis use imagination, but that doesn't mean we have to believe in it for it to work (hence placebos work even if you know it's a placebo 1). Since God is immaterial, he does not exist in the material world but in our own minds. Therefore, we shouldn't pray for God to change our world but to change ourselves, as God is our own unconscious mind, and prayer a way to connect with it.
1 Guardian: Placebo effect works even if patients know they're getting a sham drug