Prayer + appropriate tangible action = desired result
The Dua, not prayer in traditional sense of a ritual 'speaking', repeating, words to Allah, is more to do with how Allah has created this universe and for you to find out what this is. If you are cold, pray to Allah for help, OR learn how to make fire. Allah 'helped' you by providing the means to get warmth from fire providing you helped yourself by discovering how to get this fire from wood etc. NO GAIN WITHOUT THINKING AND DOING!
Remove the ritual, wishful thinking from your equation and you will get the right result.