While this is not actually a response to your question, I'd suggest that you are being excessively deity-phobic. "Pray" has, in our secular society, taken on a non-religious meaning as well as its original.
: to speak to God especially in order to give thanks or to ask for
: to hope or wish very much for something to happen
: to seriously ask (someone) to do something
It's hard to see even a tinge of religious sentiment in a question like, "And what, pray tell, do you think you're doing?"
In trying to avoid "pray" in your original example, you make your sentence more complex and less pithy. If the phrase were "but pray to God that it never happens", I'd just suggest leaving out "to God", but the phrase as it stands has no religious connotation that I can detect.