The Sinner's Prayer


One must enter through the Narrow Gate (Jesus Christ) by Repentance and Faith. The Sinners Prayer is nowhere in the Bible. The Sinner’s Prayer is a superstitious, religious, mantra. Nowhere in Scripture is it found to ask Jesus into your heart. Rather, we are told to repent, have faith in Him, and put our trust in Him from our salvation. This prayer is not what a Christian should put their faith in. The object of ones faith must be Jesus Christ alone for Salvation!

This was taken from the sermon: The Wide and the Narrow Gate

Voddie’s Church link Grace Family Baptist Church: Spring, TX



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The sinner’s prayer wasn’t intended to be a legal loophole. That’s really the only issue with it. Except for the Lord’s prayer, the Psalms, and some other references, none of our prayers are in the Bible. I think we just need to be mindful of the proper context for the sinner’s prayer.


But, this is a matter of salvation, the utmost importance. There is no proper context for the sinner’s prayer. It is a golden calf. It is the idolatry of decisionism. Men think they are going to heaven because they have judged the sincerity of their own decision. It is repeating words after someone and then they are popishly pronounced saved by the pastor or whoever led the person in prayer. It’s a false assurance and often people go through life believing they are saved because they repeated a prayer and then die and go through the broad gate to Hell. Nowhere in Scripture are we told to ask Jesus into our hearts. When Paul came to the church in Corinth, he did not say to them, “Look, you are not living like Christians, so let’s go back to that one moment in your life when you prayed that prayer, and let’s see if you were sincere.” No, he said this, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). We are told we are saved by grace through faith and we are told to repent and believe the Gospel.


I honestly think you’re overthinking it, and that the sinner’s prayer is not a golden calf; at least not in and of itself. It can be used that way, but it seems to me that you’re not even allowing for the possibility that it can be prayed sincerely.


Even if prayed sincerely, the person is not saved by it. If anything, they are saved in spite of it. They are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Even if prayed sincerely, what matters is if this is followed by a sincere and total surrender to Christ, and if they have repented and believed, they will continue to repent and believe and grow in continuous belief and repentance. Often, the prayer is repeated without any of this, unfortunately, and the person goes on in life with a false sense of assurance.


No, they’re saved by the decision to have faith that goes with it. I’m not saying it isn’t often prayed hollowly. But the problem then isn’t with the prayer; it’s with the attitude.


This gives man too much control over his salvation. Salvation is by grace, then it is an internal work of the Holy Spirit. Telling someone to “make a decision for Christ” and to “express” that decision outwardly fosters the notion that salvation is synonymous with walking an aisle or reciting a prayer instead of being the work of the Holy Spirit (John 3:8). This false association, in turn, can lead to false conversions, because someone who walks an aisle after a sermon may think he is saved (on the basis of an emotional experience), when there has been no work of God in his heart. Nowhere in the Bible are “decisions for Christ” mentioned, nor is anyone commanded to “accept Christ” or to “ask Him into your heart.”

Those who are saved are saved by grace through faith. Even faith is a gift created through the hearing of God’s Word (Romans 10:17). Salvation does not come by walking an aisle or raising a hand. Saying a prayer does not save anyone. Salvation is making a new spiritual creation, something only the Holy Spirit can accomplish.

Coming to the front of a church is not the same thing as coming to Christ. Simply “making a decision” of some kind is not what saves us; it is the all-powerful, sovereign work of God in Christ that saves. Rather than calling on people to “invite Jesus to come in,” it would be better to urge them to repent of their sin and cast themselves on the mercy of God in Christ.


Availability of salvation is by grace and mercy, and certainly not to be trivialized. But acceptance of salvation is by choice; or perhaps, rather, rejection of it is:

Since it seems clear that many will perish, it seems to me that we do have a distinct control over our salvation.


Regeneration is the person becoming alive and able to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit. While salvation is a supernatural work of God, the person at conversion responds by submission to Christ by faith and repentance. Even the very faith we are given is a gift of God. The conversion is much more than repeating a prayer. Unfortunately, when people are told repeating the prayer, if they were sincere enough, they are saved often gives a false sense of assurance.


It is true that salvation is a gift. It is also true that the choice to accept it is a gift. But how is it that making the right choice in sincerity (and that’s what the sinner’s prayer is supposed to be about) not obtaining genuine salvation?


Often, the decision and the prayer is made to be believed it is the point of salvation and there is no follow up, no growth, no fruit, and no change. When this is the case, the person might be referred back to when they said the prayer and told they are saved because they said a prayer. There was even a preacher who told someone who was too shy to pray they could just squeeze the preacher’s hand when he prayed if the person agreed with the prayer. Stuff like this creates a false sense of assurance and is deadly. If a person prays and genuinely submits to Christ, believes in Him and repents, this is a different story. Even then, though, it is regeneration, submission, faith, and repentance that saves due to Christ’s work on the cross. It’s not the prayer in and of itself.

Thanks for conversing with me on this, man. I enjoy the conversation.


I don’t believe that they issues you cite are the fault of the prayer itself, but the attitude of the one praying or the one presenting the prayer to the nonbeliever.

I’m glad our disagreement is amiable. :smile: