We primarily make these aspiration prayers to accumulate merit and to train our minds.
There are other interpretations of the Kaliyuga but all of them agree that overall things will be worse. Gelek Rinpoche has said that he thought that the Kaliyuga would progress in waves with some improvement over short periods of time but with the overall tend being negative.
If I right remember there are four down ward going yugas followed by four upward going yugas, they each have a name, this sequence repeats itself within each kalpa,... so the over all trend goes like a wave, and there is a bigger wave that consists of four different kalpas, the four plus four yugas occur within each kalpa.
We must be near the beginning of the cycle of kalpas, because only four buddhas have appeared of the 1000 buddhas that are to come during this great kalpa.http://www.buddhistdoor.com/oldweb/bdoor/archive/nutshell/teach36.htm