Where Is The Sinner's Prayer Found In The Bible?
It is found nowhere in the Bible.
Every year millions of people are being told to say the sinner's prayer and they will be saved. Is the sinner's prayer a biblical way of salvation? If so, where is it found in the Bible? Although multitudes of people say the sinner's prayer as a means of salvation, the shocking truth is
THE SINNER'S PRAYER is not even found in the Bible one time! The sinner's prayer usually goes something like this:
"Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner and that I deserve to go to hell. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins. I do now receive him as my Lord and personal Savior. I promise to serve you to the best of my ability. Please save me. In Jesus' name, Amen."
A person can search his Bible from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21 and never find this prayer or any variation of it mentioned anywhere in Scripture. Why then do so many people believe the sinner's prayer saves? People believe this is a way of salvation because they have put their trust in men and not God. The sinner's prayer originated in America and was especially popularized by Baptist preacher Billy Graham (as well as Billy Sunday and Bill Bright). Over the last half century Billy Graham and denominational preachers like him, have taught multiplied millions of people a way of salvation that is not even found in the Bible! Remember, the Bible says "there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death" (Proverbs 16:25).
Although the sinner's prayer is not found anywhere in Scripture, there are a couple of passages people use to justify it. Some religious leaders believe Acts 2:21 warrants a person saying a sinner's prayer for salvation. The Apostle Peter said, "whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Acts 2:21). Is this passage teaching that we must say the sinner's prayer to be saved? Certainly not. There is a big difference in Scripture between calling on God for salvation and a prayer to God. If we will use the Scriptures correctly we can see exactly what it means to "call" on God. A divine commentary on how to call on the name of the Lord is given in Acts 22:16. Saul is told, "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." According to the Scripture, to call on the name of the Lord means that we get up and obey God's teaching concerning baptism. This is the exact same thing the people who called on God in Acts 2 were told to do - and what they did (Acts 2:37-38, 41).
Another passage that is often cited in support of the sinner's prayer is Luke 18:13. In contrast to the hypocritical Pharisee, the tax collector "beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'" Is this text authorizing a sinner's prayer as a means of salvation? This passage is not an example of New Testament salvation because this man was still living under the Old Testament and Christ's law had not gone into effect yet (Hebrews 9:15-17). If this were an example of salvation, it would only be an Old Testament example and would have no bearing on the salvation of men and women today. Thus, neither one of these passages teach that the sinner's prayer is a means of salvation.
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