|Volume 24 Number 12 December 2022
Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner, and that my sin will send me to hell. I also know and believe that you paid for my sins on the cross. Please save me and give me eternal life. Thank you for your gift of forgiveness. Amen.
Does this sound familiar to you? It, or something similar, is what many people refer to as the sinner’s prayer. Have you ever wondered where this prayer is found in the Bible? The following two paragraphs list all the passages in the Bible that mention it.
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No, this is not a misprint. There is no mention of the sinner’s prayer in the Bible. Not once after the death of Christ was a sinner ever instructed to pray for salvation. The reason I say after the death of Christ is because that is when our New Testament law came into effect (Hebrews 9:16-17). However, there are passages in the Bible that tell us that God will not hear and answer a sinner’s prayer. John 9:31 says, “Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him” (NKJV). Further, the apostle Peter penned, “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (1 Peter 3:12). The sinner’s prayer is a tradition or a commandment of man – not of God (Matthew 15:8-9), which will cause our worship and service – as well as our salvation – to be in vain.
Was there anyone in the Bible after the death of Christ who prayed before he was saved? Yes. Did God hear his prayers and save him by this means? No! In Acts 10:1-6, Cornelius prayed, and yet, it was obedience to the words that Peter told him that saved him. Verse 6 says Peter would tell him “what you must do.” Then, Acts 11:14 records Peter telling Cornelius “…words by which you and all your household will be saved.” The apostle Peter told him to believe (Acts 10:43) and “to be baptized” (Acts 10:48). This is what one “must do” to be saved, and that is what Cornelius did to be saved.
Then, there’s the case where Saul of Tarsus prayed (Acts 9:11). The Lord told Ananias about Saul – “for behold, he is praying.” Yet, when Paul retold this story in Acts 22:16, we see he still had his sins after he prayed. Therefore, he was told “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
You may ask, “How is one saved if not by praying?” A person is saved in the same way every person was saved about whom we can read in the New Testament. Every recorded case of conversion appears in the book of Acts. You can also see what they did to be saved. There are five steps involved in one’s salvation:
Notice that these passages do not mention prayer, and yet, these people were saved or received “the remission of sins that are past” (Romans 3:25 KJV).
Dear friend, the eternal salvation of your soul is too valuable to risk on a tradition that has absolutely no scriptural basis. Why don’t you follow the example of all those who were saved in the New Testament and be sure of your salvation (2 Peter 1:10: Hebrews 5:8-9).
I am offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can show me a Scripture in the Bible – effective after the death, burial and resurrection of Christ – which teaches that an alien sinner (one who has never been saved) can be or was saved by prayer, or give scriptural authority for the furniture used in this process, such as prayer altars. In other words, “Where is the sinner’s prayer in Scripture?”
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A Morning Prayer
I awoke this morning with my usual aches and pains,
but I was thankful that today there is no rain.
I smiled and said, “Good morning, Lord;
I’ll be looking to you for a good word.
You know Lord that life isn’t always fair,
but the joy I find in You there is none to compare.
So, dear God, Let me live a life tried and true,
totally and completely devoted to you.
Yes, life is not always easy and often seems unfair,
but I will live this day rejoicing, held in Your tender care.”