Please let me present a brief backround to the situation, before presenting the question...You are preaching and teaching the gospel to an individual sinner friend. After your friend is aware of the wrath of God abiding on him and you have preached and taught the biblical gospel to them, he asks you a trembling question...Some people would not feel comfortable in asking the sinner to pray something... lest they should have a false conversion and base their salvation upon a prayer that they prayed (which would be a form of idolatry in a prayer on the false converts part, and a form of spiritual pre-mature birthing on the preacher's part) ...rather than upon the mercy of God in Jesus Christ (which is the only hope for any of us). I am one, who does not desire such a false hope to be brought upon a sinner... (That God will definately save them if they pray this prayer of asking Jesus into their heart) The Question:But, let's say the sinner asked you. "Evangelist friend, I tremble! For I fear I shall fall into hell and the wrath of God shall crush me for all eternity. How shall I call on Him? I fear He shall thrust me into the lowest of Hell. I tremble! Tell me dear sir, how would you pray to such a holy God?"How would you respond if a sinner asked you this...?I posted this thread for everyone to share how they would answer this poor sinners question?Please do share?Here is my response to this precious sinner...Pray something like this: (not that the prayer itself will save you. But, if your heart has been made new by the mercy of God through the power of the gospel... It is a great way to express your love to God.)Jesus, you are so good. I have sinned against you in such horrific ways. I have forgotten you days without number. I have stolen love and affection that should have been given to you... and I have set it on my sin and selfishness. Precious Father your Law and your Wrath are good, pure, holy, and just. If You should open up the ground under me and send me to the lowest pit of hell right now... You're still good and worthy to be loved from my heart for all eternity. I find such great joy and delight in beholding your beauty and attributes. Thank you Jesus, for your sovereign electing grace upon a horrific sinner like me. I long to grow more in love with you... in affection beyond what a natural heart could possibly contain. You set your mercy and love upon me... a horrific sinner like me. Oh precious Lamb of God who was slain for me, receive the reward of your suffering. Have my affection and tears. Draw me unto you, and I will wash your feet with my tears. Embrace me with your right hand, and I will rest in your bosom. I will lay my head upon your heart and rejoice in your Word forever. Lay your head upon my heart and hear my prayers to you. May they be sweet to you. May this prayer of love and affection, bring an everlasting joy to your holy heart. Amen. Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever!God bless you! -Abraham
As much as possible, let them say it in their own words.If the Holy Spirit has genuinely brought him/her to the point of conviction and understanding regarding their standing before God as a creature of wrath and can see that there's no place to run to apart from the love of Jesus Christ, nothing should stop them from doing it on their own. Encourage them to be open, honest and unashamed.Don't feel disappointed if they're not ready; sometimes the best way to close an evangelistic conversation once you've brought a person to the point of conviction is to simply send them home saying "Do you have a Bible? Then go home and talk to God. Tell him about what you've done and how much you need him right now. When you're done, give me a phone call."Remeber that nowhere in scripture does it say that we're saved by prayer. If we were, that would in fact be a works-based salvation.But above all, don't force it. I too have seen first-hand the horror stories of false conversion brought about by over-zealous evangelists eager to get notches in their belts. I remember one time when I was serving as an usher for a Sunday service when afterwards I saw a group of our members sitting with a non-believing visitor from Korea. A girl within the group carefully tried to explain the gospel in as simple terms as she could, but was interuptted by a guy who kept prodding "We can pray right now!" Even though the Korean unbeliever clearly wasn't convicted (and who could blame him?) this member kept coercing him, going as far to place his hand on the shoulder and say "Repeat after me..." But what I found disturbing is that this guy honestly believed that saying a prayer would actually save him regardless of actual belief.To quote Paul Washer: What superstition has overcome us?
How do you pray?With humility, with your whole heart, in your own words, no matter how few, simply ask Jesus to accept you as a believer even as you submit to Him being Lord and God over you.This is a heart issue..not a word issue. God knows you and loves you. He's waiting for you. Just begin, Please, Lord...and then say what you feel, what you want from Him.If you want Him in your life, it is enough that you ask, and mean it.Blessings,Forrest
I had something like this happen some months ago...Met this guy on the busstation which walked strangely, he was released from the hospital after being stabbed by some people. To make a long story short, I ended up sticking with him and we both prayed to God to save him.I didn't felt assured that he was saved afterwards. I felt disappointed, I knew that a 'sinners prayer' was not enough. I encouraged him to read his Bible every day and pray. Although he told me that I was welcome to visit him anyday I never did. The most disturbing thing was that this guy told me that he once prayed to satan and made a bargain to be set free from prison once and so he was released. Since then he only had trouble. At times I wonder what happened with the guy, I hope that he turned to Christ!