Monday, September 24, 2007

Does The Sinner's Prayer Save?

Luke 18:13 "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."

Let me ask you....did this man get saved because of what he said? We know he got saved because in verse 14 it says "...this man went down to his house justified". A person can pray the most eloquent of prayers and say all the "right" things and still be just as lost as they were before they said it.

Many preachers and soul-winners are urging sinners to pray "the sinner's prayer" if a person says they want to be saved. In verse 14 the publican did not say what you would consider the sinner's prayer. He didn't even have someone "leading" him in it or telling him what to say. It doesn't mean because no one leads a person in a prayer or tells them what to say that they aren't saved. Words don't save us...God does. God's mercy is not what is needed to save us because God has shown us mercy from birth to even be born and to live at all.

There must be repentance and faith in Christ and what He did for us on Calvary for a person to be saved. So for a person to believe that it is the words they say to be what saves them is to be deceived. I prayed the "sinner's prayer" when I was 24 years of age and nothing changed in my life. The preacher that talked to me told me what to say...but there was no conviction and no realization and sorrow over my sinful condition. After praying that prayer he (the preacher) pronounced me saved. Only One can pronounce a person saved and that is God Himself. He does this through the peace He gives to the person who truly gets saved and born-again.

A person can pray whatever and with whatever words they choose and still be saved because they repented or made a change in their heart from serving sin and the devil to serving God and living for Him how He wants them to.

In my case...I never asked Jesus to save me or come into my heart. I thought at that time that I had been saved when I was 24 years old. I simply asked Him to forgive me for the things I had done to destroy my marriage and drive my husband away from me. But something was different this time...I had a peace in my heart I could not understand or explain. I knew something was different right away.

There was a time when I doubted I had been saved because I heard so many people's testimonies that they had prayed and asked Jesus to save them. My husband kept telling me to seek God in prayer to show me through His Word. I did that and God did His part.

Romans 10:9-10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

II Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

I John 5:13 "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."


I no longer doubt my salvation and God showed me its not in what I said but what my heart cried out for. My heart knew what I needed even if my mouth didn't ask for it the way someone else did. The heart language is a language that only God can understand. Isn't that a wonderful truth!! If it depended upon what we said to be saved...there would be a lot of people who didn't get saved because they didn't say the "right words". Thank God it isn't in what our mouth says...but what our heart cries out for.

18 comments:

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

Sis. Julie, when you come to the place you know you are a sinner and need to be saved, repenting of those sins a transaction takes place in the heart , you breath the words in prayer to God , He already knows what you are thinking and of your heart change. He has made salvation so easy. I believe it is done while we are yet thinking and asking God to save us, help us, be merciful to us or whatever our cry to God is.It is not the prayer that does the saving, connie from Texas

Julie's Jewels said...

sis. connie...that is exactly right. It is sad to see so many doubt their salvation because of hearing some preacher or someone say it is what we say that determines if we're saved. And its even sadder to see someone who relies on the words they said regardless of whether they saw themselves a sinner and was convicted of their sinful state...those people are deceived and will go to a devil's Hell if they don't get that thing right.

Karen said...

Excellent post. This is something that has grieved me over the years. I call it the "say the magic words syndrome" that has many people fooled into thinking they are saved because they read or said some sinners prayer at some point in their life. (Not that you can't say those words sincerely and accept His salvation for real at that point). I just know too many people who have said those words who have no relationship with Jesus......and the problem is that they think they do---because they repeated the 'sinners prayer' after Pastor So-and-so. In our efforts to evangelize,we have to be so careful not to convey that. Yes, salvation is a free gift and yes, it is simple, but I believe it is a complete change of direction and if it is for real, a change of lifestyle will follow.

Again, great post!

Julie's Jewels said...

sis. karen....It has grieved me as well. And the devil holds so many in bondage over this.

Mimi said...

Julie,
thank you for this post...
I have been concerned because it seems that any time there is a large group of children being taught like at Bible School or Childrens' church...
the leaders are so quick to have the children who "say" that they want Jesus, to say the "sinners Prayer" and then they are ready to Baptize all the children, thinking that they are all saved...
when in fact many of the children were only following the first one who voiced the desire.so I fear that the majority of children who think they are saved this way are in fact still lost...
but many leaders of the churches have come to think of the "sinners Prayer" as a magic potion.!
when in fact you don't have to voice anything because God understand us when we but groan.

Julie's Jewels said...

sis. mimi....That is the thing I don't like about those programs. So many times there are children that make false professions for different reasons. We as adults have to be oh so careful how we deal with children and salvation. But then even adults are vulnerable to the deception of this type of witnessing tool as well.

Katy-Anne said...

Mrs Julie, thank-you for this post. I have struggled with issues pertaining to salvation so many times. I always wonder if I've done enough. Like is it the prayer, the repentance, the faith or all three that saves? Actually, although it tells us to call upon the name of the Lord, it doesn't actually say we have to "pray a prayer" to be saved, but it says a lot about repenting and believing.

I hate it when kids are told to "repeat a prayer after me" and then are pronounced saved.

Julie's Jewels said...

katy-anne...you are right...we can get saved without even saying anything with our mouth. It is the heart that does the asking.

Bro Tim said...

Amen Mrs Julie you know how feel about this issue. I agree it is not what you say but what your heart says. Good Post thanks for sharing.

Bro Tim

Julie's Jewels said...

bro. tim...yes I do know how you feel about this issue. Thank you for commenting.

Lyndy said...

Sis Julie,

Excellent post and so very true. A lot of people get deceived.

I pray you are doing well. Hopefully, I can be around more now.

Love, Lyndy

Happymama said...

Great post, Sis Julie. I've always felt weird about the "sinner's prayer." If I'm leading someone to the Lord, I show them scripture of what the Bible says about salvation, make sure they understand what you must do to be saved and then if their heart is truly ready to accepet Christ, they'll know what to pray. The words may not come out the way they want them to, but God understands the heart. I understand that a lot of people use the "sinner's prayer" as a guide, and IF the person is serious about getting saved and doesn't know exactly what to say, but means in their heart what they've been told to say, only God knows.

Great post!

~Kristi

Julie's Jewels said...

sis. lyndy...I've missed you!!

Julie's Jewels said...

sis. kristi....I'm very careful too. Having been a victim of the ABC Repeat After Me way of salvation I'm very careful in how I handle leading someone to the Lord as well. It is a serious thing and a very delicate thing too. Like you said...the Lord knows their heart and what they are asking for.

Jessica said...

I was led in a "Sinner's Prayer" when I was about 6 years old. But I wasn't under conviction, and nothing changed. When I was 15 I truly got saved... and all I remember saying was "God save me!" over and over. But there was conviction, repentance, and a change in my life! That is one reason why I don't care for the "Sinner's Prayer", sure there are some people that get saved from being led in a prayer... but I think that there are far more that are decieved into thinking that they are saved, when they are really still on their way to hell.

Good post!!

Love you,
Jessica

Julie's Jewels said...

jessica....you are so right that most of them are deceived. I also know there are some that do get saved by repeating a prayer. I don't mean to imply that not everyone who prays that way are saved...but more aren't than are.

blackberrycottage said...

Julie,
Amen, Amen, amen! what a wonderful encouragin gpost. Oh, how I love to hear how others came to Christ. Thank you so much for your honesty and sharing your testimony. This is my first visit to your blog and I shall be adding you to my favourites. Bless you!
Sandra from New Zealand.

Sis. Julie said...

Sandra...Thank you for stopping by. Praise the Lord for the Lord blessing you through this post. I hope you come back again soon.

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