Should You Lead Someone in the Sinners Prayer?

Share Button

October 6, 2012   [Living Faith]   I see so very many people in my classes (as much as 85-90%) who say they are Believers, but when asked what they mean by “believer” they say: because they “believe in God” or “believe in Jesus as a great teacher” or because they said “the prayer.”  It’s not our place to judge another’s heart or to say whether or not someone is saved, but we can always reiterate the pervasive nature of sin and our need (all of us) for a Savior. Living in Christ is a constant awareness of our sin nature counter balanced by the constant awareness and gratefulness for Christ’s presence in our lives. It is no more possible to attain salvation by good words than it is by good works, and it is a tragedy to see someone who says they are a believer not enjoying all the peaceful confidence and wonder that living in Christ entails. So, never stop testifying how deep the sin nature is (you could always share a struggle you are having) and how desperately we all need a Savior…  Check out Ray Comfort’s short essay, which beautifully addresses this topic from a preventative perspective.

 Should you lead someone in the “Sinner’s Prayer”? by Ray Comfort

The question often arises about what a Christian should do if someone is repentant. Should we lead him in what’s commonly called a “sinners prayer” or simply instruct him to seek after God? Perhaps the answer comes by looking to the natural realm. As long as there are no complications when a child is born, all the doctor needs to do is guide the head. The same applies spiritually. When someone is “born of God,” all we need to do is guide the head–make sure that they understand what they are doing.

Philip the evangelist did this with the Ethiopian eunuch. He asked him, “Do you understand what you read?” (Acts 8:30). In the parable of the sower, the true convert (the “good soil” hearer) is he who hears “and understands.” This understanding comes by the Law in the hand of the Spirit (Romans 7:7). If a sinner is ready for the Savior, it is because he has been drawn by the Holy Spirit (John 6:44). This is why we must be careful to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work and not rush in where angels fear to tread. Praying a sinners prayer with someone who isn’t genuinely repentant may leave you with a stillborn in your hands. Therefore, rather than lead him in a prayer of repentance, it is wise to encourage him to pray himself.

When Nathan confronted David about his sin, he didn’t lead the king in a prayer of repentance. If a man committed adultery, and his wife is willing to take him back, should you have to write out an apology for him to read to her? No. Sorrow for his betrayal of her trust should spill from his lips. She doesn’t want eloquent words, but simply sorrow of heart. The same applies to a prayer of repentance. The words aren’t as important as the presence of “godly sorrow.” The sinner should be told to repent–to confess and forsake his sins. He could do this as a whispered prayer, then you could pray for him. If he’s not sure what to say, perhaps David’s prayer of repentance (Psalm 51) could be used as a model, but his own words are more desirable.

How to get false converts
Our aim should be to ensure that sinners are born of the Spirit–of the will of God and not of the will of man. Too many of our “decisions” are not a work of the Spirit, but a work of our sincere but manipulative practices. It is simple to secure a decision for Jesus by using this popular method:

“Do you know whether you are going to heaven when you die? God wants you to have that assurance. All you need to do is: 1) realize that you are a sinner (All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God), and 2) believe that Jesus died on the cross for you. Would you like me to pray with you right now so that you can give your heart to Jesus? Then you will have the assurance that you are going to heaven when you die.”

For the biblical way to present the gospel, see the question below: How did Jesus witness to others?. See below for: How should one confront sinners?For more on false converts, see Matthew 25:12. (www.livingwaters.com)





Powered by Facebook Comments


The God Empowered® Wife

The Book That Started it All
Click Here For More Books and CDs