Shotgun Prayers

By Patrick Hawthorne


Have you ever prayed a shotgun prayer?  You know, the type prayer where you load up on prayer buckshot and fire hoping at least one little pellet makes it to the ears of God?  I believe we all have.  I still do to some extent.

If I were to guess, my bet would be that your shot gun prayer sounded something like, “Our Father, if it be Thy will…”  All those listening might have thought it wonderful and full of faith.  You, on the other hand, knew that it was all popcorn; nothing but fluff.

“Well, you know that God is in control of everything.  He chooses who will and will not be saved, delivered, healed, set free, etc.”  Well that is a convenient statement to remove our lack of faith from the equation.  Let’s blame all of our failures in prayer on God.

The last I read, He gave the authority to man.  If He is in control of everything, why do we need to pray at all?  Are we praying to change His mind on certain issues?

Let me ask you this question.  Why is it so easy to believe that God wants everyone saved?  The answer is that it has nothing to do with us.  We can’t control who will and will not receive salvation, can we?  So why do we not expect the same with something like healing?  The price has been paid, the gift given, but not all are willing to receive that gift.

We have all of Matthew chapter 8, Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24, and Psalm 103:3 just to name a few scriptures that declare it is God’s will for people to be healed.  Yet, we go to our storehouse of excuses and pull from our surplus of doubt to explain why healing is not for today.  The truth of the matter is that we get embarrassed if we don’t see someone immediately healed, or heaven forbid, the person actually dies on us.  Somehow we have fallen into this belief that it is a failure of our power.

Ya mind if I step out of the writer mode and be blunt for a minute.  That is pride talking and not the Holy Spirit. Our responsibility is to pray the prayer of faith…period.  Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 8:13).  His blood sacrifice is just as powerful today as it was yesterday and that is all I need to know.

Jesus told me to pray for the sick and that is what I will do.  Furthermore, it will not be some shotgun prayer hoping to hit God’s ear.  No, it will be “Father, according to Your Word, I pray for the healing of so-and-so.  I thank You for Your healing power.  IN THE NAME OF JESUS! Amen”

NOW faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen.  For by it (Faith) the elders obtained a good report (testimony.)  Hebrews 11:1-2



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14 comments on “Shotgun Prayers
  1. Israel Ashworth says:

    Sometimes I will catch myself praying like that and actually back up and say oh God forgive me this is what I truly believe. And pray again. So yes I need to watch how I pray. I need to make it personal with God and not hope it hits but to know it hits home with him. Great post. A Eye opener.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You mean those kinds of prayers where a shotgun is used to try and take God hostage and force Him to perform our Will? Or my worry prayers when I’m quite certain how things should turn out and I endlessly pester God to fix it? I have a tendency to talk too much during prayer when I should spend more time listening. Speeches and declarations are one-way conversation. A healthy relationship requires two-way conversation and in the parent-child relationship, what Father says is the deciding factor.


  3. I read this in Charisma not too long ago Patrick and after seeing the title, at first I thought, “hang on now”…but you know, I completely agree with the author.

    We have been commanded to heal the sick. Great writing brother! Thank you for serving.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jules says:

    Excellent word.
    Much needed to remind me.
    Thank you (shotgun reply ;))


  5. Wally Fry says:

    Patrick..ahem. Don’t ya know? I am a Missionary Baptist. We are required by law to say “If it be thy will” at least twice in every prayer.



  6. usarmymsg says:

    Another good word my son. Pop’s


  7. This is an insightful lesson on prayer. Good job I believe you hit the target.


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