Common human beings believe some one as GOD is sitting up in heaven and controlling everything in this Universe who will grant their 'Wants'. He/she prays 'I want this and that' and promises God that 'I will shave my head or break 101 coconuts once you grant my prayer!!'. I fail to understand why not 100 coconut instead of 101?
When we ask something from God for selfish desires it cannot be called as prayer. We ask Mercedes and willing to exchange our useless 'hair'. What is the value of the hair after all? If they say 'I will cut my fingers' I can appreciate. The hair has the least value as when it falls in the food we shout at our wife.
When he / she does not get what they wanted, they get upset and stop going to the temple. Is it not a stupid business? Does that mean the God is a business man who exchanges Mercedes for Hair? It is said one can reach divine salvation only when they dissolve their 'ego', which is the 'I' concept of self.
If so when we pray 'I want' in which 'I' is present which becomes a selfish act. Swami Sukhbodananda once said "EGO" is 'Edging God Out'. He means that the moment ego 'I' is present, God cannot be present. It is like when you see the rope and misunderstand it is a snake, you are afraid and try to run away. But when you recognize it is only a rope you cannot see the snake. This means you can see snake or the rope but not both at the same time. Similarly either we are ego or divine.
Hence stop praying for yourself and pray for all. I remember a story in Emperor Akbar who once was praying asking for more wealth. A beggar who came for alms started walking away. Akbar saw him leaving away called him and asked why he was leaving. The beggar said "I saw you begging to God while praying and when you yourself a beggar what is the point I am getting something from you."
Let there be health & happiness to all.