Sinner’s prayer, also known as the Salvation prayer is said to have converted people just in it’s recital, even though they were not previously believers in Christ. Some folks had no intention of learning if Jesus was the Son of God. Many had never considered if he were raised from the dead, as Christians believe but this prayer changed them forever.
The Sinner’s prayer takes various forms, all of which have the same general thrust. Since it is considered a matter of one’s personal will, it can be prayed silently, aloud, read from a suggested model, or repeated after someone modelling the prayer role. There is no formula of specific words considered essential, although it usually contains an admission of sin and a petition asking that Jesus enter into the person’s heart (that is to say, the center of their life).
Sinner’s prayer is sometimes uttered by Christians seeking redemption or reaffirming their faith in Christ during a crisis or disaster, when death may be imminent.
Hopeful: He bid me go to him and see. Then I said it was presumption. He said, No; for I was invited to come.Mt 11:28 Then he gave me a book of Jesus’ inditing, to encourage me the more freely to come; and he said concerning that book, that every jot and tittle thereof stood firmer than heaven and earth. Mt 24:35 Then I asked him what I must do when I came; and he told me I must entreat upon my knees, Ps 95:6 Dan 6:10 with all my heart and soul, Jer 29:12,13 the Father to reveal him to me. Then I asked him further, how I must make my supplications to him; and he said, Go, and thou shalt find him upon a mercy-seat, where he sits all the year long to give pardon and forgiveness to them that come. I told him, that I knew not what to say when I came; and he bid say to this effect: God be merciful to me a sinner, and make me to know and believe in Jesus Christ; for I see, that if his righteousness had not been, or I have not faith in that righteousness, I am utterly cast away. Lord, I have heard that thou art a merciful God, and hast ordained that thy Son Jesus Christ should be the Savior of the world; and moreover, that thou art willing to bestow him upon such a poor sinner as I am—and I am a sinner indeed. Lord, take therefore this opportunity, and magnify thy grace in the salvation of my soul, through thy Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
Various other versions of the prayer include:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name. Amen.
— Billy Graham
Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.
— Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ)
Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving me. Amen.
— Greg Laurie Salvation Prayer
God our Father, I believe that out of Your infinite love You have created me. In a thousand ways I have shunned Your love. I repent of each and every one of my sins. Please forgive me. Thank You for sending Your Son to die for me, to save me from eternal death. I choose this day to enter into (renew my) covenant with You and to place Jesus at the center of my heart. I surrender to Him as Lord over my whole life. I ask You now to flood my soul with the gift of the Holy Spirit so that my life may be transformed. Give me the grace and courage to live as a disciple in Your Church for the rest of my days. In Jesus name I pray Amen.
— St. Paul Street Evangelization