One of the most iconic of all the Bible’s stories is that of David and Goliath. It is invariably invoked by an underdog, yet the underdog status was illusory because David had God on his side.
Lawrence Freedman, Strategy: A History
This is an incredibly thick book. I was thoroughly amused by the first chunk of the book that looked at “strategy” in the bible, including God’s strategy. More on this some other time.
This formula required the prayers to acknowledge their own weak position and rely on the One with unlimited bounties. Finding this method irksome, ineffective, or too passive, Christians often sought to compel the supernatural to produce their desired results.
Kate Bowler, Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel
Essentially, prayer is no longer about asking God, but claiming and demanding your “entitlement” from God. Having been to New Creation Church and City Harvest Church, I can attest to this.
What about the effectiveness? I think there is some psychology at play here. We remember it when our “prayer” is answered, and we rationalize/dismiss it when our prayer does not get answered.