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What is the Sinner's Prayer?

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Quick Answer

The Sinner’s Prayer is intended to profess one's life to Jesus Christ for the first time. The person is guided to confess his sins, invite Jesus Christ into his life, declare his trust in Jesus and become a Christian.

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Full Answer

The Sinner’s Prayer is guided by repentance, confession and faith in Jesus Christ. It has been offered in different words by different Christian denominations and persons. The aim of the prayer is to guide a sinner to give his life to God in the proper way and not necessarily to oblige the sinner to use particular words in prayer. After a sinner repeats this prayer, he is usually declared saved by the person coordinating the prayer or event. An example of the prayer is “Lord Jesus, I accept that I am a sinner. Forgive my sins, come into my life and make me a new person.”

The Sinner's prayer has faced a fair share of criticism. While some critics claim that the prayer obliges a person to pray in particular words, others argue that it is not biblical. Critics equally criticize the assurance of salvation given to unbelievers when they say this prayer, arguing that it is God, and God alone who gives salvation.

Advocates of the Sinner's Prayer typically agree that it is just a guide and that the sinner can pray in his own words, though the prayer is still considered biblical. Romans 10:9-10 states that if one confesses orally that Jesus is lord and believes that he was raised from the death, that person is saved. The book of 1 John 1:9 states that if one confesses sins, God is faithful and forgives.

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