The sinner’s prayer – What is it?
The sinner’s prayer is the traditional term given to the prayer a person prays when he or she realizes their need to come to faith in Jesus and prays to accept Him. While there is no exact sinner’s prayer that is required for salvation, those who come to faith in Jesus Christ communicate with God regarding the essential information necessary for salvation.
The first aspect of any sinner’s prayer is the recognition of being a sinner. Romans 3:23 clearly notes that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Romans 3:10 adds, “None is righteous, no, not one.”
The second aspect of a sinner’s prayer is the recognition that God is the sufficient solution to human sin. Romans 5:8 teaches, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
In addition to receiving Christ’s sufficient sacrifice for our sin, we must believe two specific things about Jesus in order to come to faith in Him. Romans 10:9 teaches, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” A person must believe Jesus is Lord and believe He rose from the dead. If those two things are not true, He cannot really be the solution to our sin problem.
It is important to recognize that a sinner’s prayer is not what saves a person. Jesus does! A prayer is simply a way to agree with Him about the truth of our depraved state and the truth of the gracious gift He offers gift. A sinner’s prayer is a verbal recognition of truth and acceptance of the gift. It is a way to begin living in a restored relationship with God.
Is there anything else we must “do” to be saved? Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches that God saves us by His grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Our human works will never be good enough to meet God’s perfect standard. Instead, we place our faith in Christ and He provides salvation as a free gift.
Finally, it is only in Jesus that salvation can be found. Acts 4:12 teaches, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Jesus personally taught, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Jesus gave Himself as the way of reaching heaven because of His love. This great love brought Jesus from heaven to earth to live, die, and return to life to provide the opportunity for us to have eternal life by believing in Him.
Do you want to accept Jesus as your Savior and receive eternal life? If so you can respond to Him with a prayer similar to this:
“Dear God, I realize I am a sinner and could never reach heaven by my own good deeds. Right now I place my faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son who lived a perfect life, died for my sins, and rose from the dead to give me eternal life. Please forgive me of my sins and bring me into right relationship with you. Thank you for accepting me and giving me eternal life.”
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