Some modern religions use spellcraft regularly as part of their worship. Neo-Pagan religions such as Wicca, Druidry, Ásatrú, and other established path such as Santeria, Voudoun, and Candomblé all use spellwork as part of their worship process. Spellwork can certainly be done within a religious context, whether the religion is one of those mentioned or not. Within a spell, the inclusion of a deity or a higher power of some kind immediately transforms the spell into a spiritual act. However, the deity you appeal to in a spell should be a deity to whom you have at least introduced yourself, and have obtained their permission to work with them, otherwise you’re not going to get much out of it. Several spells in the “cookbook craft” category toss around invocations to Hecate as the Queen of Witches or invoke Aphrodite to help out in a love spell. These are ancient deities, now often thought relegated to mythology books. You can’t just harness their energies; there has to be more to it than that., If your spell knocks at their door, they’re likely to take a look through the spyhole, not recognize you, and won’t answer. Even ancient deities understand what dangers lie with inviting just anyone into their home. Conversely, why invoke a deity associated with another culture or religion just because a spell in a book tells you to do it? What do you know about them? Who knows what kind of energy you might be inviting into your spell?
If you function within an established faith, your best bet is to appeal to the deity or aspect of the Divine that you already work with. You have an established relationship with this deity. When your spell comes knocking,k the deity will recognize your energy, and your spell will have the added boost of love and energy freely given.
If you involve a spiritual entity such as a deity or an angel in a spell does it become a ritual? Not necessarily. It depends on your goal. Is your goal to achieve nirvana, or to become spiritually balanced within your religious path? Then you’re performing a ritual. Is it to obtain a new cat, or to release anger or stress? Then it’s a spell. When you’re not precisely sure if your goal is spiritual or practical, then it’s probably still a spell.