A salvation prayer has two parts: accepting we are all sinners and accepting that we need a Savior.
Everything we know about salvation comes from the Bible and how God works. Though we are familiar with what a salvation prayer is, we know there is no official salvation prayer in the Bible or anywhere on the internet. So, what is a salvation prayer? Is there a correct way of praying it or a list to be followed? Let’s learn what a salvation prayer is and how taking this first step will change our lives for good.
What is a Salvation Prayer?
A salvation prayer, known by many Christians as a “Sinners Prayer,” is the first step in one’s relationship with God. It is merely a road to rebirth in Christ Jesus. A salvation prayer is a prayer where one would ask for forgiveness from God, repent from his sins, confess his belief in Jesus accepting Him as his Lord and Savior.
But, is there really such a thing as a “salvation prayer” or a “sinner’s prayer?” If not, what is the best way to pray for salvation?
What is the meaning of Salvation?
According to Merriam-Webster, salvation is the deliverance from the power and effects of sin. As Christians, we are familiar with salvation and its importance. We know from Scripture that salvation is a gift and is not earned through our good works (Acts 4:12). Salvation is also a process and not an instant, one-time thing. It takes commitment and dedication to follow in Jesus’ footsteps every day.
What is the Sinner’s Prayer?
A sinner’s prayer is something we pray to God once we understand that we are sinners and require a Savior. A sinner’s prayer is interchangeable with a salvation prayer. Saying the sinner’s prayer is our way of declaring that we want to rely on Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. A sinner’s prayer doesn’t change our lives without complete faith and trust in God.
Is there a Salvation Prayer?
There is no official salvation prayer found in the Bible or anywhere else. Those we read are only samples and guides to start and end the prayer. What’s important is the sincerity and the willingness to leave our sins behind and offer our lives in Jesus’ hands.
How to Pray a Salvation Prayer?
Acknowledge that Jesus is Lord
Acknowledging in your heart that Jesus is our Lord is easier said than done because our hearts can be very stubborn sometimes. When we have our hearts set on a direction or specific routine, it can be hard to persuade leaving it and choosing to depend on God instead. For us to teach our hearts to trust in Christ alone, we must understand that you cannot make it through life alone and that we need someone all-powerful and all-knowing to guide us through. We have to let go of control and allow God to take over.
Speak and confess out loud that Jesus is Lord
Knowing in our hearts and minds that Jesus is our Lord and Savior isn’t enough; we must also speak and confess it out loud. Because words are a powerful tool, when we declare something out loud, it solidifies our belief. It also allows others to hear the good news and how God’s love and grace move in our lives.
Believe in your heart that Jesus died and paid for your sins
Sometimes it feels surreal that an all-powerful God would send His own Son to pay for our sins so that we could be reunited with Him in heaven. However, it is accurate, and it did happen! Jesus willingly died on the cross to pay for our sins and has risen from the grave to further solidify His victory over sin and death. So how, then, do we believe it in our hearts? By accepting salvation, God has gifted us wholeheartedly and without any doubts.
Ask for forgiveness and repent your sins
Even if Jesus has already paid for our sins, we must confess, ask for forgiveness, and repent. Because if we didn’t do so, we would just repeat them, and we’d never learn from them. When we ask for forgiveness and repentance, we acknowledge the consequences of our wrongdoings. By doing so, we place our trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, believing His resurrection has allowed us to become anew, thus leaving our old sinful selves behind.
Scriptures for Salvation
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act to fulfill his good purpose.”
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life, for God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
The Prayer of Salvation
This is the prayer of salvation from Psalm 51:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
Indeed I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways so sinners will turn back to you.
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be delivered on your altar.
Short Salvation Prayer
Lord Father, I know and acknowledge that I am a sinner. On my own, I cannot save myself from the consequences of my sins. But because of Your grace and mercy toward us, You have given your Son as ransom in exchange for my sins. I humbly ask for forgiveness for all my sins, those I was aware of and those I didn’t know I committed. Please help me learn from them so I may never repeat them.
Lord, from this moment on, I accept Jesus as my Savior. Only through Him can I receive the gift of eternal life and the ability to come home to heaven. Thank you, Lord, for allowing a sinner like me to be cleansed from my sins and start anew. Please teach me to trust in You alone, and help me not depend on my strength and abilities because You are far greater than what I can do.
Please help me not worry about tomorrow because You will always provide for and protect me from harm. Thank you for giving my heart assurance and calmness from all my doubts and fears for the future.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Why do We Need to Pray a Salvation Prayer?
Without salvation, we are spiritually blind.
Without salvation and having Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are spiritually blind. God’s concept of right and wrong differs from what the world dictates. God’s ways and judgment are absolute; only He declares what is right from wrong, and without salvation, we would have a hard time understanding God’s ways.
Without salvation, we are spiritually dead.
Because of our sins, we are spiritually dead (Romans 6:23). But because of the blood of Jesus, we can leave behind our old selves and live out a new life wholly dependent on Christ. If we are spiritually dead, it would be impossible to know God and to come into His presence. So if we want to live the life God has planned for us genuinely, we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.
Without salvation, we are spiritually lost.
Without salvation, there’s a giant void in our hearts that nothing on earth could ever fill. We constantly look for something to fill the emptiness inside, yet still, we come up short and unsatisfied. Without salvation and God’s guidance, we are all lost and have gone astray from the path that leads us toward fulfilling our higher purpose on earth. Once we have accepted that we are sinners and have repented of our sins, we realize that we desperately need God’s guidance and protection. Learning to depend on God gives us direction and fills our hearts with contentment.
Though there is no official salvation prayer, those we find are helpful guides or pointers when we decide to take the leap of faith and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The first step is always the easiest: accepting that we are all sinners. As human beings, we aren’t perfect; we often stumble and return to our sinful nature. Yet despite that, God gave His only Son so that we could join Him in heaven.
Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior is the hardest part of the salvation prayer because it requires declaring it with our words and actions. Sure, we may say out loud that Jesus is our Savior but does our life reflect it? Taking the first step is easy, but continuing the journey is the hardest because it takes commitment and determination toward the path God is leading.
Praying the salvation prayer is our way of declaring God’s sovereignty in our lives. Only by faith are we saved from sin and death; by His grace and mercy, we are granted to come home in heaven.
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