An article in the latest issue of Car and Driver (not on-line as far as I can determine) has this quote from a California woman who moved to rural Texas with her husband and bought a small race track.
"We prayed about it," Laurie Scribellito says. "We prayed hard. And we were very specific about it."
Once again, this is something I've heard about people doing all my life but had never given much thought. How does a person "pray hard"? Why would it make a difference to an allegedly omniscient God who already knows not only what you're asking but how it will turn out? Do people really believe that extra intensity will cause God to change his mind? I suspect that what it actually does is help the person really focus on the problem and seriously mull over the ramifications of the decision. The mention of being "very specific about it" is also interesting. They don't say what specific questions they asked, or if they got specific answers, which is probably for the best. Even the God-fearing citizens of rural Texas would probably have raised eyebrows at a California couple who showed up saying that God told them to buy the local race track. As the saying goes; you talking to God is prayer, God talking to you is schizophrenia.
The article does mention that the husband had previous experience running a race track and was at least casually looking into the possibility of another go (hence the perusal of such ads on eBay), and that the successful sale of their house and business in the current economic climate were taken as "signs" to go ahead, but it seems to me that those actions indicate they were inclined to make the move unless the clouds parted and God said "DON'T DO IT YOU IDIOTS!". I'm reminded of a Simpsons episode in which Homer prays about some potential action and asks God to signify approval by giving no response. Ah well, according to the article the move seems to have been successful, so good for them and their God. It might make a cute movie for the Inspiration Network, or Speed Channel.