Here's how my mind works.
I drive a lot and I was talking to a friend who also drives a lot and I thought of saying "I pray for the day when we don't have to drive."
That got me thinking if I should exchange the word "pray" for "hope" since I neither prayed for her nor make it a regular habit of praying. As well, given my view that every prayer is to me, regardless of theological implication, a statement of hope or thanks, that word stands as a more consistent and coherent reflection of my views.
But then I noticed pray rhymed nicely with day.
And so I kept it.
I always use hope or wish instead of pray. It's about the same odds of something happening.
Not sure what to say. Unless someone is being an ass with me, and they use the word pray, I just ignore it; I suppose that is my way of translating it to hope.