The Sinner’s Prayer

Though not quite a saying in itself, we hear tell of the Sinner’s Prayer enough that it’s easy to see why some may have come to believe it of canonical origin—and why they want to know the exact wording as found in Scripture for the lauded prayer.

The fact is, there is neither any specific formula found in Scripture for a Sinner’s Prayer nor is there any biblical example of such a prayer being recommended in the salvation experience.The modern usage of the Sinner’s Prayer originates in the 19th Century and was popularized by the experience-oriented evangelistic style of Charles Finney. As Scripture presents it, men should repent, believe, and be baptized. There is no mention of altar calls or sinner’s prayers or requesting for Christ to enter one’s heart.

That said, we shouldn't go as far as some and claim the Sinner’s Prayer to be a bad thing. So long as it is accompanied by belief and repentance, we should consider the Sinner’s Prayer as simply an initial instance that honest and vital, confessional aspect of a new believer’s growing relationship with the Lord he now serves (cf. Romans 10:9-10).

Though, as has been stated, there is no biblical formula for the Sinner’s Prayer, here is a typical example of such a prayer:

Dear Jesus: Thank You for the sacrifice You made for me. Please forgive me for all of my past sins. I repent of these actions, and with Your help, I will change and not repeat them again. I know I am not worthy; but, I willingly accept You as my Lord and my Savior, and I thank You for Your blessings over my family and me.