The true sinners prayer

Posted: May 17, 2010 in salvation

Have you ever wondered why many who see themselves as followers of Christ show so little fruit as followers?   How that in an age of greater information, books, seminars, and conferences there is less done now than in the first century?  Why is it that Christianity appears to be dying in the west, whilst in some backwater place it is growing?

For decades there has been a standard laid down by many which I would like to call the formula.

The formula has been handed down over the decades, refined and articulated in our Christian schools.  This is the way it is done, but is it the way the early apostles did it.

Salvation has been reduced to a formula and because of this entire churches are full of people who adhere to this formula.  The formula does not require a relationship.  Now a relationship needs to be worked at a formula does not.  When Jesus comes to sound those awful words depart from me I never knew you, the truth is he never did know you.  There was no relationship to be found.  Why is that you ask?

The sinner’s prayer.

Now the formula goes like this.  Someone get up on the pulpit and gives an invitation to accept Jesus.  The person in the pew decides he needs Jesus.  He gives an intellectual assent that he must do something.  On the pulpit someone begins to play a musical instrument.  This is usually done to help create a mood so that people are persuaded to embrace the moment.  The speaker says a prayer which we call the sinner prayer.  Usually you might repeat the words or simply say yes to what is spoken.  The speaker then announces to all who are present that if so said yes to this prayer you are now a Christian.  The trouble is that the sinner prayer is not found in scripture.  While I am not saying that you can’t be saved that way.  The way is actually flawed.  Those present are led to believe that something has happened which has not.

Let me explain.

You want to talk with someone sitting next to you.  Do you turn and speak to them or do you pick up a book and read out of the book.  Is reading what is in the book actually speaking to the person next to you?  Clearly the answer is NO.  In fact the person next to you might consider it ignorant.  So is the idea of repeating what someone has said is not really speaking to God.  The sinner’s prayer is only a guide line to what might be said.  It was never meant to replace what should be said.

Salvation is coming to a place where you realise you are lost.  You are helpless to save yourself. Your only hope is Jesus. Salvation is not based upon your sincerity but on Gods.  Salvation not based upon the repeating of a prayer. Salvation is wholly of God.    Now this aspect is terrible humbling to a society that prides itself on self reliance and overcoming in our own strength.  SELF becomes the ultimate word.  In every false religion man tries to please his god by trying and working his way into someone good books.  With God we have to acknowledge the trying to please God is impossible.

The real sinner’s prayer

God wants us to go to him and speak to him.  The words are not what is important as the desire and the acknowledgement of our need.  We may fumble and stutter at what to say.  But the fact we go and talk to the only one that can deliver us from our present situation is what matters.

Real salvation is not so much as inviting God in, as asking God to save you.  While it’s true he will come and dwell in you.   What God want is a relationship.  Salvation produces this relationship.

Matt 5:3-8 “ Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”


The real sinner’s prayer.

It starts with the reality we are poor in Gods site unfitting to be in his presence.  That should produce a realisation I am lost.  This brings us to a realisation and conviction that we could never please God in out own strength.  But in our sorry state God will come to comfort us.  It does not say the speaker, or pastor gives us comfort by telling us we are Christians.    This is Gods business leave him to do his job.  In humility there is a realisation and a hunger, If you like a desire for God.  For God alone can create the desire to hunger for him.  His promise is that those who hunger he will fill.  Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.

The sinner is incapable of seeing God.  His spiritual eyes are closed.  There can be NO fellowship until his eyes are open.  When you come to God and talk to him, God will move on your behalf to saved and create a hunger for him self and your eyes will be opened.

How do I know I have changed?

The work is Gods so don’t try to work anything up and don’t pretend.  God will witness and confirm himself to you.

True fellowship is when the crowd goes home and you are left alone.  The enthusiasm of the moment passes.  Yet you still find yourself hungering for the presence of God.  True fellowship is when you enjoy spending time with God.  True fellowship is when there is nothing outward to gain but the intimacy with God.  It not what you want from God but what you can give to him.  This is not something the preacher can work into you. It’s only what God can perform in your life.

When God becomes a source of comfort, joy and delight, It will not matter if it is in times of suffering or happiness.  When in trials of doubt temptation, or even victory, your desire is for God and to take pleasure in knowing him.  That does not mean you will always be conscious of God but you will have knowledge that God can be trusted. Even in times of your greatest trials and darkness Gods promises will not and cannot fail


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