I was thinking about my own current situation, I am currently working a ridiculous number of hours. I work most nights after my son goes to bed until about midnight, and I am pretty sure I haven't had a single day where I didn't work at all in about 6 weeks. I'm probably hovering at about 80 hours a week with no end in sight. If I'm being honest with myself, it will probably pretty similar to this until June. (next year will be better as I can reuse a lot of my teaching materials, but this year I'm building 2 classes from scratch on my own and another with a team of 3 others). I really love my job, but this workload is fucking nuts.
Sometimes I feel pretty pushed to the limit and it can be a bit depressing. As a mathematician, I feel somewhat embarrassed about this, but I will occasionally buy a lottery ticket. I have calculated the odds, I know I am not going to win, but it is fun to think "what if?" As I said, I love my job I'm just overworked. I would love to work half-time, so I could still do it but I could do other things that I enjoy as well. The point is, I see a parallel with the prayer, it really is a fantasy I am allowing myself to have as an act of desperation. In the case of prayer, they are imagining that God is going to make things better, he is going to help them into a better situation. In my case, I'm just imagining being able to buy myself into a better situation. I think the parallel is interesting.