by Garland M. Robinson
No, the Bible does not teach this! I too read or hear of this often. It may sound good to people, but the so-called "sinners prayer" for salvation is not found in the Bible. As a matter of fact, no where is an alien sinner told to pray anything.
Saul of Tarsus is a good example of a sinner praying. From the time he had seen the bright light on the road to Damascus till the time Ananias told him what to do to be saved three days later, the Bible says "...he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink" (Acts 9:9). It is certainly reasonable that Saul was praying during this time. He was so disturbed and concerned that he would not eat or drink anything! Acts 22:16 confirms he was not saved on the road to Damascus nor during the three days he was surely praying, for he was still in his sins! Ananias, a disciple of the Lord, taught him the Gospel and what he MUST DO (Acts 9:6) to be saved and then said, "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." If anyone could have been saved through prayer and before water baptism, surely it would have been Saul! But, such is not possible. That is not the plan of God.
Friend, you can pray what some man tells you to pray all day long and it won't save you. Souls are not saved by prayer. Souls are saved by "obeying the gospel" (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8; 1 Peter 4:17). In obedience to the Gospel, there must be a "likeness" of the death burial and resurrection of our Lord. Romans 6 tells us what the likeness is, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death ? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection . Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed ...Being then made free from sin ..." (Romans 6:6,18; Acts 22:16).
Are you praying or obeying? Follow what God says, not what man says. Are you ready to obey?