Have you ever spoken with someone about Jesus and had them ask you what to say in their prayer to accept Jesus? Someone who is ready to be saved will likely need a little help with this very first prayer, this very special prayer.
Do you know what you would say to help someone take this final step toward God and His salvation?
This prayer for salvation doesn’t need to be complicated or long or “churchy.” It just has to be real. From the heart of the one seeking God’s forgiveness.
Learn in this post how to help someone pray to accept Jesus as their Saviour.
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It’s Not About the Words.
Many refer to this prayer for salvation as the “sinner’s prayer.” For it is the prayer one prays who has finally realized their utter sinfulness before the holy God and their desperate need of His forgiveness and cleansing from that sin. They’ve understood that without Jesus, they will die in their sin and spend eternity in hell, separated from God and all that He is (i.e. goodness, light, love, peace, joy, help, hope).
But even as important as this prayer is, it is NOT about the words. It’s about the heart behind the words being prayed.
No string of words will ever save anyone, no matter how well thought out or eloquently spoken. God is not impressed with our efforts to bridge the gap with Him created by our sin. We cannot “talk God into” saving us with a well thought out prayer.
It’s about what Jesus did and whether we understand and accept His gift. All we need is a simple prayer of salvation.
Scripture Basis for the Prayer to be Saved
For the sinners prayer to be more than just words we speak, we each must first understand these truths –
- I have sinned against God. Romans 3:23
- I deserve God’s judgment for my sin – death, eternal separation from God in hell. Romans 5:12, Revelation 21:8, Matthew 25:46
- Christ took my punishment for me when He died on the cross, was buried, and rose again the third day. John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
- I must choose to accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness. Or remain on my course to hell. I must choose to repent of my sin and any beliefs I’ve had about how to get to Heaven and turn to Jesus alone as my only hope of forgiveness and a home in heaven. And ask Jesus to grant me His salvation. Romans 10:9-10
Some may ask whether we must actually say a prayer to receive salvation. Whether belief is all that is required. Why is a prayer to accept Jesus necessary?
Well, it is necessary because God tells us in Romans 10:13 –
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.Romans 10:13
“To call upon” means to pray.
We cannot simply say, “I’ve always believed in Jesus.” Therefore, I’m headed to heaven. For, the devils also have always believed in Jesus! They’ve seen Him!
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.James 2:19 (emphasis mine)
And while it is true that the words themselves are not what’s all-important, there must be a moment of decision, a transaction, if you will, between the repentant sinner and God.
There must be a prayer of sorts. Whether spoken aloud or silently, we must communicate with God our acknowledgement of guilt and our humble petition for forgiveness and salvation.
Prayer to Accept Jesus
So, what should we advise someone to say in their prayer to be saved? There are many examples of the sinner’s prayer, but I prefer a simple prayer to accept Jesus.
If you’ve explained the gospel well enough, this person has already understood the points of the gospel and acknowledged this before you and God. All that’s left is a heart-felt, simple asking for the gift God is holding out to them. Telling God that they need and want His gift is all that’s needed.
A Sinner’s Prayer
Here is one example of a sinner’s prayer one might pray. And then I will share with you the prayer I prayed many years ago for my own salvation.
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and that I deserve to die and go to hell. But I believe that your Son Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins for me. Please forgive me of my sins and save me. Thank you for saving my soul from hell! Amen!
I’ve read some really long and complicated prayers to accept Jesus, but in my opinion, they are confusing for the one ready to accept Jesus as Saviour. I speak from experience.
The night I was saved, the lady I first talked with showed me the scriptures about how to be saved and then led me in “the sinner’s prayer.”
She told me phrase by phrase what to say in my prayer. She said a phrase, and I repeated it, until the final “Amen.”
But this “prayer” meant nothing. This prayer was not me communicating with God, but rather, me listening intently and trying to remember what she said in order to repeat it correctly.
It was me trusting in the “right words.” Instead of me looking to, and talking with, God.
This post is part of our Through Open Doors Bible Study. Learn how to share the gospel message with confidence!
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Afterward, she asked me how I felt. I said, “No different.” (Of course, feelings have nothing to do with how we know we are saved.) So, she asked another woman to talk with me. And I praise the Lord that she did!
This second woman told me that when I went to bed in a few minutes (we were at youth camp) to pray in my own words and ask Jesus to save me and to help me know that I’m saved. So, when I got in bed, I prayed this short salvation prayer…
“Dear Jesus, please save me and help me know that I’m saved.”
I was so exhausted I fell right to sleep. I’m not even sure I said “Amen.” 🙂
The next morning I knew something had changed inside me! I knew I was saved! I had that “knowing” within that the Holy Spirit gives when He bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God! (Romans 8:16)
Have You Accepted Jesus as Your Saviour?
Do you, dear reader, have that “knowing within”? Have you ever accepted Jesus as your Saviour? Have you acknowledged that you need a Saviour and asked Jesus to save you, believing that His death, burial, and resurrection as the payment for your sins is your only hope of salvation?
If you have not yet done this, please don’t put it off. None of us are promised tomorrow. Today is the day of salvation
…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.2 Corinthians 6:2b
You might also like to read this post – How Do You Know You Are Saved and Going To Heaven?
Use these Free 3 Prayer Worksheets to record your thoughts and prayers. You could begin by recording your prayer to accept Jesus!
Access these Free Prayer Worksheets and all of this study’s freebies when you subscribe to the Through Open Doors Bible Study!
If you are saved and wanting more help for leading someone else to know Jesus as Saviour, you might want to check out the book, Through Open Doors: Unlocking the Mystery of Soul Winning. In this book I tell you exactly what to say from beginning to end. Including how to extend the invitation to pray and receive Christ.
Drawing nigh to Him!
- How to Share the Gospel With Unbelievers (and free printable!)
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- 12 Powerful Bible Verses About Freedom In Christ (and free printable!)
- The Simplicity of the Gospel