I received the following email from a Resurrection attender this week. I have included my response below and some additional thoughts. It has been edited for anonymity
A friend of mine has a perspective on prayer that falls under what the internet refers to as Prosperity Gospel. She repeatedly says, “If I pray hard enough, God will make it happen.” Interestingly, her latest comment relates to her pregnancy where she says she is praying hard (and is fully convinced) that God will grant her a little girl. I tend to disagree with this perspective because it makes it about the person and not God. God answers prayers, but for his purposes not ours. We will always get a yes, no, maybe later type of answer.
In response to the “If I pray hard enough, God will make it happen.” I do not think that prayer will direct the gender of an unborn child. I agree with the types of responses that you suggest to prayer. This question also touches a bit on open theology – How and in what way does God respond to prayers? How does prayer make a difference? These are questions that I continue to think about.
What do you think, dear reader?