No sinner's prayer--No salvation?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Tom Butler, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I know a number of people who confess Christ as Lord who never prayed the sinner's prayer. I am one of them.

    The question: Can one be saved without praying the prayer? Are we who have never done it saved or lost?

    Tom
     
  2. bapmom

    bapmom
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    I had often wondered why so many here had a problem with the so-called "sinner's prayer". I had always thought of it as the natural crying out to God upon realization that one needed to be saved and desired to turn to Christ. But then Ive recently read how some (a minority) will just tell people to "pray this prayer" with almost no explanation. I don't think you can then call that a sinner's prayer.

    Tom, Id ask you if you have trusted CHrist as your own saviour....if there was a time you remember turning to Christ in repentance and realization that you needed salvation and it could only be given you through Christ. It doesn't matter what you prayed to God specifically. I think it does take some sort of mental assent towards God, as "calling on the name of the Lord Jesus CHrist" does imply some sort of talking to Him.

    I knew one man who declared that he had just woken up one morning and realized he was saved........I could never figure out what he was talking about, but I just could not see that as him "calling" out to God.
     
  3. KenH

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    Yes. Salvation is not a rote, cookie cutter process.
     
  4. TaterTot

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    yes, one can be saved w/out repeating "the prayer"
     
  5. Joshua Rhodes

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    We all know John 3:16. John 3:15 sums it up even more succinctly: "...that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life." It is belief that is the issue for salvation, not the particular set of words that are used.

    "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18
     
  6. Helen

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    My "sinner's prayer" when I finally realized who God was and what a mess I was ran along the lines of "God, if you still want me, please take me."

    He did. He knows the heart.
     
  7. PastorSBC1303

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    Of course someone can be saved without repeating some prayer.

    Helen, I think that is a great prayer.
     
  8. Diggin in da Word

    Diggin in da Word
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    Too often I have heard preachers have someone 'repeat these words' and that person may or may not have gotten saved, Only God knows. But the written formula is not the sinner's prayer. It may have been one sinner's prayer at the time he or she got saved, but the true sinner's prayer must come from within each and every individual's own heart. One must be repentent of sin, one must be sorry for sin, and one must want to be cleansed from sin.

    What is the sinner's prayer? For one man in the Bible it was just, 'Lord, be merciful unto me, a sinner'.
     
  9. SeekingTruth

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    Diggin,

    Amen. That is the only prayer an unsaved person has. We are all sinners, just that some sinners have been taken into the family of God.

    As an added thought, salvation is of the Lord. Regardless of how or what man (or woman) prayes or doesn't pray.
     
  10. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Thanks for the replies so far. My personal testimony is posted under the thread "Testimonies."

    Some of you said unequivocally that one need not pray a prayer to be saved.

    Bapmom said just telling people to "pray the prayer" is not a true sinners prayer. She would ask me some questions (similar to those my pastor asked me),but does point to Romans 10:13 "calling on the name of the Lord", as some sort of prayer.

    Helen's prayer seemed to include recognition of sin, the sinful mess she was, and her need for Christ's salvation. I liked it because it was a cry from the depths of her soul. I did not get from her post that praying for salvation was necessary, but she was relating just what happened to her.

    Diggin in da Word leans toward a sincere prayer, but didn't say I was lost because I didn't pray for salvation, just confessed Him as Lord. He cied the prayer of the publican as one prayer.

    Thankfully, nobody yet has declared me a lost sinner (whew!), but maybe it's early yet.

    BTW, we just Romans 10:13..."call upon the name of the Lord..." as a basis for praying for salvation. But the verse does not say call on the Lord, but whoever calls on the NAME of the Lord. Anybody want to interpret that as other than prayer?


    Tom
     
  11. arkie pastor

    arkie pastor
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    I like the way the pastor addressed my request when I felt God's calling me to salvation....I went foward and expressed to him my feelings God was laying upon my heart to accept Jesus as my Saviour......He simply stated to me...." Well I suggest that you talk to Him that can save you".....I did and He did.
     
  12. mima

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    For years I did not believe in leading anyone in a sinners prayer. Then one night while witnessing a man went to his knees, and clasped his hands together in front of himself and said," old please help me I don't pray please help me pray"! And so I've been leading people in a sinners prayer ever since that night. Is a sinners prayer necessary for salvation? NO!! But many people are helped by saying a sinners prayer. Example, they always know and have a time that they can refer back to as having done this.
     
  13. standingfirminChrist

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    My testimony is on the testimony thread. I like the many answers given here.

    arkie had a great testimony above in saying he felt God's calling, and went forward.

    Many go to the front just to satisfy their family, or girlfriend/boyfriend, or pastor, or someone else. If one is not seeking salvation based on God's drawing, one is not going to find salvation. One must be repentent, have remorse for sin, and call out to God.

    arkie went on to say his pastor did not walk him through a list of sentences, but rather told arkie to talk to God. Wise pastor.

    Amen, Brother Steve!
     
  14. EdSutton

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    Oh yeah! One more thing! I see Tom wrote:

    " Thankfully, nobody yet has declared me a lost sinner (whew!), but maybe it's early yet."

    Patience, my boy, patience! I'm sure there are more than one who would be more than willing to remedy THAT situati...! :rolleyes:
    Ed

    [ February 20, 2006, 05:08 PM: Message edited by: EdSutton ]
     
  15. Tom Butler

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    Thank you, thank you Bro. Ed! So eloquently have you expressed what I believe.

    So far, no one has said praying the prayer is necessary for salvation, but some, Mima for instance, still use it in their personal witnessing.

    My concern is not the use of a prayer. It is the corruption of it that bothers me. It is the misapplication that is dangerous. A couple of instances: Sunday, I listened to Joel Osteen's sermon, which as far as I can remember, never contained a single verse of Scripture. As usual, at the end he said, "we never want to close without giving you an opportunity to accept Christ. Pray this prayer....." It took me back to something I ready by D. L. Moody, who said

    "It is a great mistake to give a man who has not been convicted of sin certain passages that were never meant for him. The Law is what he needs . . . Do not offer the consolation of the gospel until he sees and knows he is guilty before God. We must give enough of the Law to take away all self-righteousness. I pity the man who preaches only one side of the truth-always the gospel, and never the Law."

    I remember Joel's mother Dodie telling a TV interviewer that her boy preaches only positive stuff. He doesn't go around telling people they are sinners, she said.

    Then, somebody stuck a tract in my windshield, prepared by Lifeway. It was right down the line until it said something like, "Repent of your sin, trust Christ for your salvation, and....and...pray this prayer...."

    Even our very own SBC tracts have added something to repentance and faith. That is my concern--by using the "sinner's prayer," are we adding something beyond what is required to be saved?

    Further, if, as all the posters have said so far, it's not necessary, then why use it?

    Arkie Pastor said his pastor told him to to talk to the One who can save him. Good for him. But that's a far cry from telling folks, "say these words," as if they have some magical power.

    Whew! I'll pause my rant for the moment and see what others have to say.

    Tom
     
  16. Ransom

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    Tom Butler asked:

    The question: Can one be saved without praying the prayer?

    Of course. Since when are Baptists sacramentalists?
     
  17. mcdirector

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    I tend to think that we Baptists have at times done a great deal of harm with some misinterpretations of a few things like the sinner's prayer and walking the aisle.
     
  18. AresMan

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    There is nothing in the Bible that requires one to:
    1. Walk down an aisle
    2. Kneel down/fold hands/bow head/close eyes, etc.
    3. Pray a template prayer

    There is only "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" and "for by grace are ye saved through faith".

    There is nothing wrong with using a "sinner's prayer" as an aid, but I think it would be wise to note to the sinner that the prayer doesn't save; it is only what is in the heart. The prayer is almost like a recap or summary of what was discussed.
     
  19. whatever

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    See if you can find the Ethiopian eunuch's prayer in Acts 8, or Saul's prayer in Acts 9, Cornelius' prayer in Acts 10, or the prayer of Lydia in Acts 16, or the Philippian jailer in that same chapter, etc., etc., etc.

    In fact, it is very interesting to see how personal witnessing was done in Acts, and to contrast it to what we usually do today.
     
  20. DeeJay

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    And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
    Luke 23:42

    Here is a short sinners prayer.
     

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