PETITIONARY PRAYER MEANS ASKING OTHERS MUST FIRST AND FOREMOST BE MADE MORE VIRTUOUS
 
We are talking about praying to God and asking him to help others or yourself.
 
We are talking about praying to God for yourself. Remember this would be future-oriented. If prayer does not help, you are trying to feel you are helping your future self when you are not. Feeling you are helping when you are not is then risky and dangerous.
 
So praying for yourself or others is the same in the sense that you are trying to feel you have helped when you have not.

Now praying for somebody to get better or to get money means you are asking for them to become more worthy of those things.  As God is about helping us to be good, it means you are assessing they need help to be more loving and compassionate and so on.  It is obviously evil to look at a very sick person and worry about their souls like that.
 
Praying for others or yourself might seem to make you feel good. When it does, then why do you think it makes you feel good?
 
Because:
 
YOU INTEND TO HELP. Prayer for another intends a better or more perfect outcome. Believers hold that if you can pray for a person to get better or to become more virtuous then the latter takes priority. No sane person agrees that virtue matters that much! Human nature tends to think that intending good to happen to another is enough to make you good. It is not unless you are doing hands on work for them. Your lazy good intent is just about you feeling good. When you pray, you imagine that it is you who is helping the other person by getting God to do it. To put a person in the care of a reluctant God is not helping them! God is bigger than you! It is like giving a person into the care of a person who does not want to care for them.

OR BECAUSE YOU CONSENT TO GOD HELPING IF HE SO WILLS. You imagine that God is going to help somehow and that you are great for telling him you agree with what he is set on doing. You cannot know for certain there is a God so you risk trying to put the person at the mercy of cold random mechanical nature. If there is no God then nature is mistaken for him and his activity.
 
OR BECAUSE YOU ARE LAZY - or it is easier to pray for somebody to get better than to pay money for their cure, to dedicate your time to them, than to admit that God is not going to help.

Intending to help makes you feel good for it reminds you that helpfulness exists and many can be helped even if not all. That is reassuring. It reminds you as well that if helpfulness exists then somebody may help you. But you don't need to pray to feel that way. With prayer, you stop being realistic. You stop realising that it is better if there is a choice to wish a person well without it being prayerful than to to wish it when it is being prayerful. You defy the principle, that if you have to choose between a prayer and a good wish you must choose the good wish. Prayer after all is no comfort if it does not contain an element of wishing anyway.

If you could give someone hands on help and you pray for them to get better if they are sick and they don't you will then have a self-righteous glow.  You will tell  yourself they refused God's gift of virtue and that is why they got worse.

There is tremendous self-righteousness in a person who uses prayer to take the credit for somebody else becoming a better and more virtuous person.