Reading through 2 Samuel reminded me of the topic-Prayer & Providence-because there is an example clearly stated in the text. I think it would be helpful to draw your attention to this. Of course, some want the systematic theology answer. However, others are helped by narrative display. I hope you will be enriched to pray and trust that God is at work. Here are the texts:
But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went. And it was told David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.” While David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and dirt on his head. David said to him, “If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,’ then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. (2 Samuel 15:30-34)
Of course, both Ahithophel and Hushai became Absalom’s counselors. As you can see, David asked the LORD to turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. He then asked his friend Hushai to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel with his own counsel to Absalom. However, what else is going on? Where is God in this? We get an explanation a couple of chapters later.
And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring harm upon Absalom. (2 Samuel 17:14)
Here we see what David had prayed for and sought means to achieve was also ordained by God for a purpose. You may struggle with one side of this issue or the other but here both are present. Both are true. Therefore, we should pray and trust (not completely understand) that God is at work.
Just this morning, I asked my son to do something that involved reading. He replied, “But I can’t read.” I said to him, “That is not true. You can read. Just because you can’t read everything does not mean you cannot read. If that is so, then I cannot read.” Same goes for this argument. Just because you do not completely understand this does not mean you cannot pray or cannot believe that God ordains. See it here in His holy word and be encouraged!