I have known cases where children wanted to pray for God to "let them win" a Bible competition, after not studying. I reminded them that the other team was praying to the same God, and they studied. I told them I thought God would let the team win that studied His Word the best.
In prayer, a meeting of minds takes place, so to speak. But, sometimes we find it easier to manipulate or convince God to give in to our petitions. Superstition and witchcraft are specifically related to rebellion in the Bible. 1 Samuel 15:23 God wants Christians to come to Him for their needs.
Genesis 30:14 Leah and Rachel were sisters in the Old Testament. Rachel was beautiful. Leah was plain to look at, but the oldest child. Abraham's grandson Jacob met Rachel at a well outside her father's ranch, and it was love at first sight. He followed her home and struck a deal with her dad Laban to work seven years as a dowry for the right to marry Rachel. Seven years seems like a long time, but he was in love. At the end of the seven years, the family throws a wedding and Jacob gets married. But, Laban covered Leah's face with a veil until after dark, to trick Jacob into thinking he was marrying Rachel. In the end, Jacob had to agree to keep Leah, and work another seven years in order to marry Rachel.
This trick may have helped Laban out by giving Leah a husband, but it certainly didn't help Leah's relationship with Jacob, who wasn't interested in her to start with. But, as it turned out, Leah gave birth to one boy after another, while Rachel remained childless. Still, Jacob loved Rachel the most. It seems that both women began to wish. Rachel wished for children, and Leah wished for Jacob to love her. After a few years the two experimented with the idea of surrogacy, but this didn't bring them satisfaction, even though they were both successful in their plan.
One day, Leah's oldest son Reuben found some mandrakes growing in the fields and brought them to his mother. Mandrakes have roots that are shaped in the form of a man, as pictured below.
The Bible records that she asked her sister for some of the mandrakes. Her sister would have known what she wanted them for, and made a lewd joke about the fact that Rachel had Jacob's love. Genesis 30:15 "And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that you have taken my husband? and would you take away my son's mandrakes also?" This was an insult, but Rachel had no pride at this point apparantly. She quickly offered Leah the chance to have Jacob spend the night with her, in exchange for some of the mandrakes, which she planned to use later with Jacob herself, in order to conceive a child. Leah accepted the deal.
Though the drug acted as a stimulant temporarily, it would leave him unconscous for two or three days. This didn't stop the woman from her plan to use the drug on Jacob. From there, we find that Leah conceived that night and gave birth to a son. But, Rachel did not get pregnant... not for at least three more years. We know this because Leah had three children after that exchange before Rachel finally conceived Joseph. Rachel's wishery led her to try superstitious nonsense to get what she wanted, instead of turning to God for what God apparantly wanted her to have.
We may find this story humorous and silly, thinking that these women were superstitious and ignorant. But, how often do women today follow what we refer to as "old-wives tales?" Even "love potions" and aphrodiasics are common usage. Nothing has really changed in the last 3000 years. The more things change, the more they stay the same.