It seems like a paradox does it not? But when we pray to God, we pray with a hidden agenda. And because of our superior intelligence, we know the solution better than God and tell him exactly what we want!
Before you shrug it off, let me explain. Let’s say you have an outstanding bill and need money. So we ask for money. But instead if we say to God and mean it, and just tell God, this problem has come up, I don’t know how to solve it and I am not worried. I give you the problem, now you deal with it! Guess what God says this guy is going to bother me constantly. He will have the same bill next month and next month, let me just give a permanent solution and you suddenly get a promotion!
So there is an art to prayer and making spiritual progress
Here is the secret. This is from Mother ( Aurobindo)
If you truly decide in all your consciousness to offer your being to the Divine to mould it as He wills, then most of your personal difficulty will disappear — I mean that which still remains, and there will be only the lesser difficulties of the transformation of the ordinary into the Yogic consciousness, normal to all sadhana. Your mental difficulty has been all along that you wanted to mould the sadhana and the reception of experience and the response of the Divine according to your own preconceived mental ideas and left no freedom to the Divine to act or manifest according to His own truth and reality and the need not of your mind and vital but of your soul and spirit. It is as if your vital were to present a coloured glass to the Divine and tell Him, “Now pour yourself into that and I will shut you up there and look at you through the colours”, or, from the mental point of view, as if you were to offer a test-tube in a similar way and say, “Get in there and I will test you and see what you are.” But the Divine is shy about such processes and His objections are not altogether unintelligible.
Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga III, CWSA volume 30, page 15.