A salvation prayer, known by many Christians as a “Sinners Prayer,” is a prayer one would say to repent from sin, ask God for forgiveness, confess belief in Jesus Christ, and accept him as Lord and Savior. Saying a salvation prayer is the first step in your relationship with God.
If you believe the Bible offers truth about the way to salvation, but you have not taken the step to become a Christian, it’s as simple as praying this prayer. You can pray by yourself, using your own words. There is no special formula. Just pray from your heart to God, and he will save you. If you feel lost and don’t know what to pray, here’s a salvation prayer that you can follow:
Prayer of Salvation
I admit that I am a sinner. I have done many things that don’t please you. I have lived my life for myself only. I am sorry, and I repent. I ask you to forgive me.
I believe that you died on the cross for me, to save me. You did what I could not do for myself. I come to you now and ask you to take control of my life; I give it to you. From this day forward, help me to live every day for you and in a way that pleases you.
I love you, Lord, and I thank you that I will spend all eternity with you.
Short Salvation Prayer
Here is another short prayer of salvation that evangelical pastors often pray with people at the altar:
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for dying on the cross for my sin. Please forgive me. Come into my life. I receive You as my Lord and Savior. Now, help me to live for you the rest of this life.
In the name of Jesus, I pray.
Is There An Official Sinner’s Prayer?
The salvation prayers above are not official prayers. They are meant only to be used as guides or examples of how you can talk to God and ask Jesus Christ to become your Lord and Savior. You may adapt these prayers or use your own words.
There is no magic formula or prescribed pattern that has to be followed to receive salvation. Remember the criminal who hung on the cross next to Jesus? His prayer consisted of these words only: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” God knows what is in our hearts. Our words aren’t all that important.
Some Christians call this type of prayer a “Sinner’s Prayer.” While the term is not found in the Bible, the concept is based in Scripture:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10, NIV)
In Psalm 51, King David asked God for forgiveness. This is another example of a salvation prayer in the Bible:
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight … Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you …The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
(Excerpts from Psalm 51, NLT)
If you just prayed a sincere prayer of faith and you’re wondering what to do next as a new Christian, check out these helpful suggestions:
- Salvation is by grace, through faith. There’s nothing you did, or ever can do, to deserve it. Salvation is a free gift from God. All you have to do is receive it!
- Tell someone about your decision. It’s important that you tell someone to make it public, secure, and firm. Find a brother or sister in the Lord and tell him or her, “Hey, I made a decision to follow Jesus.” Tell someone today if you can. It’s a great way to seal the deal.
- Talk to God every day. You don’t have to use big fancy words. There are no right and wrong words. Just be yourself. Thank the Lord daily for your salvation. Pray for others in need. Seek his direction. Pray for the Lord to fill you daily with his Holy Spirit. There is no limit to prayer. You can pray with your eyes closed or open, while sitting or standing, kneeling or lying on your bed, anywhere, anytime.
- Find a church and get plugged in somewhere.