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What is the sinner’s prayer?
The sinners prayer is a Christian term for a prayer that is said when someone wants to repent of their sin, ask God for forgiveness and state belief in the life, death, and saving resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9-10 says that “if you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
Millions have come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ through church services, friends, and family leading them in a salvation prayer. However it is not words in a prayer that save. Jesus Christ alone has the power to save through faith. J.D Greerer explains it well – “It’s not the prayer that saves; it’s the repentance and faith behind the prayer that lays hold of salvation. My concern is that over-emphasizing the prayer has often (though unintentionally) obscured the primary instruments for laying hold of salvation: repentance and faith.”
The four examples below of the sinners prayer can help you communicate with God that you repent of your sin, accept His forgiveness, and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
The Sinner’s Prayer (by Dr. Ray Pritchard)
Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you out of my life. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. I believe your words are true. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Amen.
If you have prayed this prayer in sincere faith, you may want to put your initials by the prayer along with today’s date as a reminder that you have come to Christ in faith, trusting him as your Lord and Savior.
Sinner’s Prayer From Scripture – (Psalm 51, King David)
“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to Your unfailing love;
according to Your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in Your sight,
so that You are proved right when You speak
and justified when You judge.
Surely I have been a sinner from birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me…
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow…
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from Your presence
or take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.
Then will I teach transgressors Your ways,
and sinners will turn back to You.
The Sinners Prayer (by John Barnett)
The following prayer expresses the desire to transfer trust to Christ alone for eternal salvation. If its words speak of your own heart’s desire, praying them can be the link that will connect you to God.
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Are you ready to live a life for Christ and profess your faith? Join our large praying community in the comments below and be encouraged as others celebrate with you!
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
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Prayer of Salvation – Our First Real Conversation With God
The “prayer of salvation” is the most important prayer we’ll ever pray. When we’re ready to become a Christian, we’re ready to have our first real conversation with God, and these are its components:
- We acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God; that He came to earth as a man in order to live the sinless life that we cannot live; that He died in our place, so that we would not have to pay the penalty we deserve.
- We confess our past life of sin — living for ourselves and not obeying God.
- We admit we are ready to trust Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.
- We ask Jesus to come into our heart, take up residence there, and begin living through us.
Prayer of Salvation – It Begins With Faith in God
When we pray the prayer of salvation, we’re letting God know we believe His Word is true. By the faith He has given us, we choose to believe in Him. The Bible tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
So, when we pray, asking God for the gift of salvation, we’re exercising our free will to acknowledge that we believe in Him. That demonstration of faith pleases God, because we have freely chosen to know Him.
Prayer of Salvation – Confessing Our Sin
When we pray the prayer of salvation, we’re admitting that we’ve sinned. As the Bible says of everyone, save Christ alone: “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
To sin is simply to fall short of the mark, as an arrow that does not quite hit the bull’s-eye. The glory of God that we fall short of is found only in Jesus Christ: “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
The prayer of salvation, then, recognizes that Jesus Christ is the only human who ever lived without sin. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Prayer of Salvation – Professing Faith in Christ as Savior and Lord
With Christ as our standard of perfection, we’re now acknowledging faith in Him as God, agreeing with the Apostle John that: “In the beginning was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3).
Because God could only accept a perfect, sinless sacrifice, and because He knew that we could not possibly accomplish that, He sent His Son to die for us and pay the eternal price. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
Prayer of Salvation – Say It & Mean It Now!
Do you agree with everything you have read so far? If you do, don’t wait a moment longer to start your new life in Jesus Christ. Remember, this prayer is not a magical formula. You are simply expressing your heart to God. Pray this with us:
Prayer of Salvation – I’ve Prayed It; Now What?
If you’ve prayed this prayer of salvation with true conviction and heart, you are now a follower of Jesus. This is a fact, whether or not you feel any different. Religious systems may have led you to believe that you should feel something – a warm glow, a tingle, or some other mystical experience. The fact is, you may, or you may not. If you have prayed the prayer of salvation and meant it, you are now a follower of Jesus. The Bible tells us that your eternal salvation is secure! “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
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WHAT DO YOU THINK?
– We have all
and deserve God’s judgment.
, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.
, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He
for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was
rose from the dead
according to the
. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your
, declaring, “
Jesus is Lord
,” you will be saved from
and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions
Please note: The Salvation Prayer (sometimes referred to as the Sinner’s Prayer) below, is not an “official prayer” but rather a sample prayer to follow when asking Jesus into your heart. You can pray to God in your own words if you choose.
Regarding the location of the Sinner’s Prayer in the Bible? Well, there isn’t one mentioned; it is only implied. The basis of the Sinner’s Prayer comes from Romans 10:9-10. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.
I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.
You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.
Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.
Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.
Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life. AMEN.
YER OF SALVATION
Please note: The Salvation Prayer (sometimes referred to as When you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you will receive the GIFT of the Holy Spirit , as it states in Acts 2:38:
Acts 2:38 – King James Version (KJV)
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
PLEASE NOTE: Confession of your sins is not something you do just the one time or periodically. Whenever you sin, you should immediately repent and turn away from your sin.
Then, as you grow in Christ , and your love for Him grows, you should be seeking Him through His Word . You will need to find a bible-based church and study God’s Word; and eventually become water-baptized. It is through water-baptism that you show your obedience to the Lord. Water baptism is a symbol of your salvation from the dead. You were dead but now you live, for the Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed you for a price! The price was His death on the cross!
Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries states: “In terms of salvation, you cannot separate faith and repentance—both happen simultaneously. In order to be saved, you must place faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and that faith decision requires a change of mind (repentance) about your way of life. Yet many people mistakenly believe they must change their way of living long before they can make a faith decision for the Savior. The truth is, repentance does not mean that we must completely change our ways and “clean ourselves up” so we can receive Christ as Lord.
If you’re holding off on a decision for Christ until you think you are “ready” or “worthy,” you’re waiting in vain. Jesus is ready to receive you right now. Only as a child of God will you find the power—His power—to truly become the person you were created to be.”
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU!
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