The Rev. Nathanael Emmons (1745-1840), intellectual scion of Hopkins and thus Edwards, was the mentor of more than 150 ministers. His collected sermons span six volumes and many of them touch on death and the sovereignty of God. Among many passages, Emmons sites Job 23:13,
But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.
It is hard not to see this passage as an echo here:
and there is nothing that the Lord thy God shall take in his heart to do but what he will do it.[From Abr. 3:17.]
Since Augustine and before, religious thinkers have come against the idea of God’s sovereignty. Why? For one thing, it struggles with the idea of petitionary prayer and freedom in general. Emmons deploys the passage in defense of God’s choice over life and death and the inexplicable way some live and others die.
So, do your prayers make a difference? Or are they just disturbances in the acoustic background. Are the only prayers that are answered, those whose words are put in ones mouth by God?
 Emmons was a New Calvinist.