Manifesting with the Universe takes faith and a knowing that your desires will be answered. However, we often block ourselves with doubt, and confuse wishing for something, with knowing that you will receive it. In Gabriel Bernstein's book Add More ~Ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness, she shares with us her tools for getting in touch with the Universe. First, pray or send your request to the Universe (God, Goddess, Buddha, Jesus, etc.). Let it go. Know, that the Universe will provide. Then listen for the signs. Meditation helps with this. Through meditation you can visualize your request, feel the feeling of having your prayer answered, then be silent, and listen to the voice of the Universe. The Universe always has our back, we just don't always pay attention.
The key is to not attempt to control the path you may have to take to reach your outcome. If you are controlling the situation, you are not allowing the Universe to help you. Gabby has a few suggestions on strengthening your prayers. Create a "belief box", put your prayers in it as a sign that you are letting them go. Create an attitude of Gratitude. By recognizing the amazing things we already have, it puts us in alignment to attract new desires to us. Pray for others. Send your love to the people in your life, world crisis such as Japan, etc. The more you give, the more you will receive. The more you practice these tools, the more you will reap and soon you will know that the Universe has your back.
Cheryl Richardson's book The Unmistakable Touch of Grace touches on this as well. She includes a prayer to the Universe in her book. I recently used it to ask for guidance on healing my body completely, all physical aspects, and after a few moments of meditation, I heard a voice in my head provide me with a list of tools. I must say that if I had just sat down and written a list, this would not have been the list. The list contained almost 50 items, all of which I've been guided to do simultaneously and immediately. The Universe also told me that I am on the last leg of this journey, I simple need to focus.
Set time aside each day to send your prayer requests to the Universe and meditate for at least 15 minutes. You will feel a difference almost immediately. Peace, joy and loving support are worth 20 minutes of your day, don't you think?