When you're thinking of becoming a Christian, you're often told to say a salvation prayer in order to give your heart over to Jesus. Why is it we say such a prayer, and what are some of the words we can say that make up a salvation prayer?
A Prayer with Many Names
Some people refer to the salvation prayer as a "Sinner's Prayer." It sounds like a harsh name, but when you consider that part of the prayer involves admitting that we are all sinners, both names make sense. A salvation prayer is one that expresses our desire to let go of our sinful nature and be saved by Jesus.
Is the Salvation Prayer Biblical?
You will not find the salvation prayer anywhere in the Bible. There is no dictated prayer that will suddenly save you. The basis of the sinner's prayer is Romans 10:9-10, "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. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved." (NLT)
What Goes Into the Salvation Prayer?
Romans 10:9-10 tells us that the salvation prayer should contain a few components. The primary ones are that you should confess your sins and sinful nature to God. It also says that you should admit that Jesus is Lord, and that His death on the cross and His resurrection offers us eternal life. The third component of your prayer? You need the prayer to come from the heart. Otherwise, it's just words coming out of your mouth.
What Happens After I Say the Prayer?
Some people think that when they say their salvation prayer they will hear angels sing and bells ringing. What can sometimes be a disappointment is that, as the excitement of accepting Jesus stabilizes, life remains pretty much the same. It can be a let down, but really the salvation pray rid just the beginning. There is a reason a lifetime of faith is called the Christian walk. It is an adventure with ups and downs…joys and disappointments. It is why the salvation prayer is just the start. There is also baptism to reinforce our commitment. There are Bible studies and youth groups to help us grow and learn more about God. There is prayer time and fellowship to grow closer to God.
A Sample Salvation Prayer
Saying the actual words of the salvation prayer may be a little difficult when you make your decision to be a Christian. You're probably full of emotion and a little scared. That's okay. Here is a sample prayer you can use to guide you through the prayer:
God, I know that, in my lifetime, I have not always lived for you, and I have sinned in ways I probably don't even know yet are sins. I know that you have plans for me, and I want to live in those plans. I pray to you for forgiveness for the ways in which I have sinned. I am choosing now to accept Jesus into my heart. I am eternally grateful for his sacrifice on the cross and how He died so I can have eternal life. I pray that I be filled with the Holy Spirit and that I continue to live as You desire for me to live. I will strive to overcome temptations and no longer let sin control me. I put myself in your hands. I pray that you work in my life and guide my steps so that I continue to live for you. In your name I pray. Amen.