There is no such thing as a waiting place between death and the ultimate destination of heaven or hell in the Bible, in that we or anyone else can pray us out of that "waiting place". Look at the rich man in Hades (hell) in Luke 16. He had no hope of being rescued. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 "It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment."
The mere idea that man pays for his own sin in any way is anti-biblical. Jesus paid for our sin in full. We are either in Him or not. It is His righteousness that saves us. By faith in Jesus Christ as payment in full for our sin, our Savior, we do not come into judgment or condemnation, but only gain rewards when we stand before Him.
Romans 8:1 states, "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
Any "religious works" that take the place of the cross are in vain, for it is never to pay for our sins. He freely forgives us because we do not waver in our faith in what He did for us at Calvary. It's that simple :-) God bless you!