Whenever my wife embarks on a journey or activity, she prays for protection from harm. It's a pretty standard prayer type that a lot of the faithful do with some regularity.
A couple of nights ago at softball, my wife was playing catcher. The batter took a mighty swing with his $300+ carbon fibre composite bat. At the moment of contact, the bat sheared in two just above the handle sending the barrel, edged by razor-sharp serrations, whizzing past my wife's head, bouncing of the backstop behind her, and whizzing by the other side of her head in the opposite direction.
My wife claims that her prayer for protection saved her from getting a bat in the face and likely seriously injured. I have a small quibble with this: is God so petty that He would give one of His faithful a mouthful of carbon fibre unless she remembered to ask for protection from it in prayer? It's a good thing I'm not like that:
KA: (walking up to my friend Bill) "Hi Bill!"
Bill: "Hi King Aardvark!"
KA: "Say, you didn't ask me not to kick you in the nuts today!"
Bill: "Uh, is that really required?"
KA: "Yup! Sure is!" (kicks Bill in the nuts really hard)
Bill: "AHHHH!!!" (slumps to the ground in agony)
KA: "Remember, you're my buddy and I'll always protect you from kicks in the nuts as long as you ask me nicely."
However, that's not my real quibble about the prayer for protection. You see, a few innings after (allegedly) protecting my wife from a bat to the teeth, my wife stretched to catch a high fly ball, missed, and the ball landed squarely on her big toe. It's not broken, but her toenail is turning black, the toe is swollen, and she'll be limping around for the next few days. Her toenail will likely fall off soon, yet she still claims that God protected her because of the whole bat-not-quite-hitting-her-in-the-face thing.
So does this prayer for protection only cover one item per prayer, thus requiring separate prayers if you suspect you will be injured in two or more different ways during a given event? Regardless if this is the case or not, my wife surely doesn't blame God for not coming through on the toe thing and is content to focus on praising him for the bat thing. It seems like a weird deal to me.
In fact, listening to my wife pray for stuff, especially protection, seems to be more like trying to get wishes from a genie; you have to word it exactly right or else the genie will twist your wishes around to give you a suboptimal or even harmful result. I doubt this is a version of God that most would find comforting.