Today's first reading which is about sacrifices to The Lord ends with a warning:
But offer no bribes, these he does not accept! Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion. For he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites.
While most of us would never think of it as a bribe or attempted extortion, how many of us at some pointed have uttered the if/then prayer, "God, if you just ..., I promise I will...." That my friends is a bribe. And as today's reading reminds us, it never works.
First of all, there is nothing God needs from anyone. He wants to be in a loving relationship with each of us, but that is for our good, not his. Secondly, God knows what we need and how to distinguish it from what we want. He will give us, when we ask, the former, not the latter.
The good news is, as the reading reminds us, there are no favorites in the whole world. If we have the humility to turn to God, every single day he will give us, exactly what we need that day, that minute of that day. All 1,440 minutes each day God is loving and listening for all 7 billion people on the earth, and knows each one of us better than we know ourselves.
So no need to bribe, just pray, and if you don't know what to pray for just silently open your heart and listen.