Billy Sunday Leads To The Sinners Prayer
In the early 20th century, a preacher from Chicago, Billy Sunday, developed his spin on these techniques. First, he popularized what has become called crusades preaching to large crowds in a tent or other venue. At the close of a fire-and-brimstone, come-to-Jesus message, Billy Sunday would extend salvation to sinners and offer a prayer. Sometimes he would invite the penitent to walk to the front of the assembly. Later on, Billy Sunday shook the penitents hands, claiming that shaking his hand signaled their intent to follow Christ . Sunday also developed an influential tract entitled Four Things God Wants You to Know.
The Narrow Way Is Lost
Sadly, this is what countless false churches and individuals are teaching others as they think they are leading people to Christ. Not so! Please read this in its entirety, then click the link at the bottom to learn the biblical Way to The Cross.
Simply pray and ask Jesus Christ to change you TODAY.
God is personally calling you TODAY.
Pray this simple prayer TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner in need of salvation. Please forgive my sins and come into my life as my Lord and Savior. Give me a new mind, a new heart and a new life. Direct me in my daily decisions so I can turn from sin. Take me to Heaven when I die and fill me with Your Holy Spirit now. Thank You for hearing my prayer and saving my soul TODAY.
If you prayed this prayer and meant it, Jesus Christ promised to come into your heart, forgive your sins, and give you a new life. It is impossible for God to lie, so receive His love, ride with His peace and begin a new life TODAY.
This is the most popular teaching coming out of millions of ministries, churches blogs that is supposed to lead a vile sinner out of sin and into a right relationship with God.
The sinners prayer cant be found anywhere in the word of God, try as you may to piece it together through a few twisted out of context scriptures, and you may come close, but unfortunately this plan does nothing in the heart of the sinner seeking reconciliation with God, and ushers them into the false gospel, of sin, idolatry and complacency.
How Is The Sinners Prayer Used In Scripture
The sinners prayer is something frequently referred to by preachers today. In fact, at the close of every sermon, Joel Osteen asks those that are not saved to pray with him. The prayer is asking Jesus to come into their lives. He might also ask them to raise their hand in the air .
Hes certainly not alone in this. We dont mean to single him out. In fact, the idea of a sinners prayer or a salvation prayer is widespread. Wikipedia documents several examples including from Billy Graham, Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name. Amen.
So what does Scripture say about this?
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First The Act Of Prayer In And Of Itself Does Not Save
Proponents of the sinners prayer often state that by simply praying this prayer, you can have full assurance of immediate and eternal salvation. Indeed, to doubt your salvation after praying this prayer is portrayed to be wicked unbelief in thepromises of God. However, Scripture never identifies prayer as the means of either our justification or our assurance.
Any experienceno matter how well-worded or emotion-filledthat does not result in the grace-empowered production of fruit is not genuine salvation
In the New Testament, we see people who are saved without praying , and we also see those who pray and yet are not saved . Throughout the Bible, it is made clear that prayer is not the switch that activates salvation. Faith alone is the means of our justification. Salvation occurs the moment someone turns from his or her sin and places their hope for salvation in Christ. This is accomplished solely by the empowering of the Holy Spirit, and it is based upon the finished work of Christ. A repentant person must understand that the basis for salvation is repentant faith in Christ alone.
This is not to say sinners should not pray. True repentant faith will express itself to God in prayer. The tax collector of Luke 18:13 prayed, God, be merciful to me, a sinner! and Jesus says he went to his house justified . Significantly, though, it was in the total abandonment of any worksincluding prayersthat brought salvation to this man.
Sinners Prayer For Salvation
Lord Jesus, this is my simple prayer to you. I know that I am a sinner and that I often fall short of the glory of God. No longer will I close the door when I hear You knocking. By faith, I gratefully receive Your gift of salvation. I’m ready to trust You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for coming to Earth. I believe You are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank You for Your forgiveness of sins and for giving me the gift of eternal life. I invite Jesus to come into my heart and be my Savior. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
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Example Of The Sinner’s Prayer
Lord Jesus, for too long Ive kept you out of my life. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith, I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. I believe your words are true. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Amen.
Billy Graham Develops The Sinners Prayer
Billy Sunday connects us to Billy Graham, the famous crusader of the 20th century. Converted by a Billy Sunday type crusade in 1935, Billy Graham implemented the crusades pattern popularized by Billy Sunday. Billy Graham also adapted Sundays tract Four Things God Wants You to Know. Grahams formula was called Four Steps to Peace with God.
A prayer followed the Four Steps:
Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.
This is the origin story of what we now call The Sinners Prayer.
This history lesson illustrates that the sinners prayer is a tradition developed and popularized in the last one hundred years in the American evangelical community.
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How Do You Become Saved By Jesus
To ease your fears, spend time with him through prayers, good acts, praise/worship, and be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Remember, God is love. He gave his only begotten son to die for your sins, he laid down his own life just for you, thats how much he loves you.
Do People Need To Recognize Jesus As Their Lord And Savior
Again, yes! Paul wrote: If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation .
In the first century, acknowledgement of Jesus as the Son of God was a controversial and critical step for people to take if they wished to become Christians.
Acknowledging that Jesus is ones LordOne who must be obeyedis likewise an important act of faith for people today .
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How To Say The Sinners Prayer
A nice aspect of the sinner’s prayer is that it expresses our Scriptural response to the word of God and allows us to share our faith and confession with Him.
When someone’s eyes are opened to the Gospel, it’s a good idea to encourage them to respond in prayer.
Here are three different versions of the sinnerâs prayer.
How Should Sinners Pray
The sinners prayer, also called the salvation prayer, is not found in the Bible. It is an evangelical Christian term believed to have originated in the Protestant Reformation to describe the initial step for becoming a Christian.
Many preachers and churches have since crafted their own specific sets of wordswritten prayersfor one to speak. Those who say these words are then usually told something along the line of you are now saved.
But what does the Bible teach? Two of the best examples of sinners praying to God are found in Psalm 51 and Daniel 9.
King Davids prayer of repentance after he committed adultery with Bathsheba begins: Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions .
Read the rest of the chapter, where you will see how David continues to pour out his heart to God in serious reflection and repentance. Likewise, study Daniels prayer in Daniel 9. There you see another example of deeply thoughtful, heartfelt talking with God.
And notice in Jesus parable how He described the prayer of the tax collector, who, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner! .
While he didnt express many words, there was obviously a lot going on in his mind!
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Can The Sinners Prayer Be Found In The Bible
If the Sinners Prayer can save you from your sins, where in the Bible do these preachers find it in the Bible? There are a few places they pull this from, we will look at a couple of them.
Some may refer to Luke 18
Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank You that I am not like other menextortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week I give tithes of all that I possess. And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner! I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather than the other for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Let us note some errors with these verses being used to show a path to salvation.
Error 1: These men were on the other side of the cross. Christ had not died yet, and his church had not been established. That would only occur later in Acts 2:38 after Jesus death. In Luke 18 we are not there yet. So, saying that this prayer would lead you to your salvation is unfortunately false.
A Simple Sinners Prayer
Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived I need your forgiveness.
I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.
You said in the bible that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.
Right now I confess Jesus as my Lord. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved. Amen.
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Confessions In The Sinner’s Prayer
The message of the Gospel is the message of Jesus, God in flesh, who lived a perfect life, died on a cross as a payment for sins, and was physically raised from the dead. Now, Christ commands all people everywhere to repent and place their faith and trust in his work alone for the forgiveness of sins.
The Bible says that saving faith is a repentant faith , involving mental assent to the truth of the Gospel , a conviction of ones desperate need for the free gift of salvation, and a yielded trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ as both Savior and Lord. This response is only possible by the grace of God .
The association between this initial moment of saving faith and a spoken prayer finds support in 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 with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth on confesses and is saved. A few verses later we read the guarantee, For everyone who will be saved .
So, inasmuch as the term Sinners Prayer refers to the prayer of repentant faith from the heart of a convicted sinner, it is a very biblical concept. However, what is often the popular understanding of the Sinners Prayer can be dangerous.
Is The Sinners Prayer In The Bible
It must be said at the outset that it is to be commended when people dialogue with unbelievers about matters of faith, that there is the reality of heaven and hell, that Christ is the only Savior, and that we are unable to work our way into salvation. Conversely, it is not healthy to think of evangelism primarily through the lens of pray this prayer and you will be saved. In fact, according to Dever, in this countrys last Great Awakening, people were not exhorted to pray a prayer but rather to repent and to believe. Evangelism seen in this light will never tell a person that praying the prayer would save them. Instead the approach would continually define for that person the nature of repentance and faith.
Furthermore, a persons sincerity about his or her salvation is not dependent upon the facts of a prayer but actually having the fruit of the Spirit. Instead of quickly declaring someone to be a Christian after praying a prayer, it is wiser to have that person go through the baptism process at your church to aid in discerning his or her profession of faith. To offer a blanket assurance to someone who has just agreed to certain doctrinal truths about Christ and is sorrowful over their sin could produce a culture of false professions where peoples lives are no different than they were before they prayed the prayer.
Is The Sinners Prayer In The New Testament
The sentiments of this prayer are not found anywhere in the literature of the New Testament as it pertains to the alien sinners responsibility under the law of Christ.
A careful study of the conversions in the book of Acts will reveal that in not a single instance is the lost sinner instructed or encouraged to pray for his or her salvation.
Rather, those honest souls who longed for redemption were admonished to believe on the Lord , repent of their sins and be immersed for the forgiveness of their sins in order to enjoy a relationship with Christ and enter his spiritual body .
Is The Sinners Prayer Necessary For Salvation
If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
In the verse above, you can see the requirements needed for salvation. You have to declare it with your mouth , and you have to believe it in your heart.
When you pray the sinners prayer, what you are doing is declaring with your mouth what you believe in your heart. So, yes, it is necessary for salvation.
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Sinners Prayer For Children
Jesus I know that you made me and want me to obey you with all my heart. I know I have disobeyed and wanted to be my own boss. I have thought and done things against your directions. For this I am sorry. I know that you gave up his life to save me from these sins and make me your child again. I accept your promises and ask you to please save me now and forever. Amen.