The impression I get from many people, articles, etc. is that a person needs to daven for spiritual things for himself and his family.
The fact is that there is an explicit Gemara that says the opposite.
The Gemara in Shabbos (10a) states:
רבא חזייה לרב המנונא דקא מאריך בצילותיה אמר מניחין חיי עולם ועוסקים בחיי שעה
Rava saw that R' Hamnuna was davening for a long time, he told him you are neglecting olam haba and spending time on olam hazeh
חיי עולם תורה, תפילה צורך חיי שעה היא לרפואה לשלום ולמזונות
chayei olam is torah, tefilla is chayei sha'ah as it is for health, peace and money
You see explicitly from the Gemara that tefilla is considered dealing with worldly matters (peace, health, and money) and only torah is chayei olam haba. If Rav Hamnuna was davening that he should understand the sugya or that is children should succeed in learning why is that called חיי שעה? You see from the Gemara that Rava had no hava amina that Rav Hamnuna was davening for that but Rava understood that R' Hamnuna was davening for worldly matters and that is why he rebuked him.