Defending the Sinner’s Prayer
When we go soul-winning, we explain the gospel to people, and if they understand it and want to get saved, we lead them in a prayer, where they basically say, ‘Lord, I know I’m a sinner who deserves hell, I know yoiu died for my sins and rose again, please save me.’ People usually call this kind of prayer, The Sinner’s Prayer.
Now some Christians object to using the Sinner’s Prayer in soul-winning. Because, they argue, that just having someone repeat a prayer isn’t going to save them. But yeah of course just saying some words isn’t going to save anyone; you have to understand the gospel and put your faith on Jesus to be saved; and the Sinner’s Prayer is just a verbal expression of that; it’s asking Jesus to save you.
Some people say Sinner’s Prayer not biblical, but it’s basically a reiteration of the gospel
1st part of prayer: ‘Lord, I know I’m a sinner’ = Ro 3:10: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” & Ro 3:23; “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
2nd part of prayer: ‘I know I deserve the punishment for my sins: hell’ = Ro 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death …” & Rev 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
3rd part of prayer: ‘I know you died for my sins, was buried, and rose again’ = 1 Cor 15:1-4: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”
4th part of prayer: ‘Lord Jesus, please save me’ = Ro 10:9: “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.” & Ro 10:13: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Some say Sinner’s Prayer is a work.
Now praying for others may be a work; Ro 15:30: “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me” & Col 4:12: “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”
[But asking God to save you, isn’t a work, it’s just asking God to save you, it’s calling on the name of the Lord; which the Bible says to do after you believe: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? …” (Ro 10:13-14)]
Lord Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner, deserving of death and hell. But I believe that you came to this earth, took the penalty of my sin upon yourself, was crucified, was buried for three days, and that you rose again unto eternal life. Lord Jesus, save me!
If you genuinely prayed that prayer and put your faith in Jesus Christ, you now have eternal life; John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
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