An excellent comic found here reminded me of my experience with prayer.
Every once in a while someone at the front of Sunday school or at the pulpit will caution you to be careful what you ask for, because then you might get it. They'll tell a story about how they asked God for humility or patience and were promptly "blessed" with either a situation which required intense practice in being patient or an event that destroyed their sense of worth. Many times in my life I'd kneel down and pray saying, "Father, please help me to be patient... Well... I mean... Okay, what I mean by that is I'd like the Holy Ghost to comfort me or something when I'm feeling frustrated and stuff. I'm not asking for more practice or anything like that, alright? Alright?! Okay look, I'll just work on this patience thing on my own. It's okay, really. I think I'm good with that. You know what I mean, right? I mean, you can read my mind, can't you?"
Eventually I'd just prefix my petitions with a disclaimer: "Father, the following supplication should not in any way be interpreted as a request for an increase of, addition to, or amplification of any trials, tribulations, afflictions, or adversities that I currently have or will undergo in the future in order to learn patience, humility, gratitude, empathy, wisdom, or in any other way further refine my character."