Sinner’s Prayer

Norm made a pretty compelling argument against the sinner’s prayer last night. I wonder what people think about the use of this prayer as a tool for evangelism?

Some sites that use the prayer, found randomly using Google:

http://www.billygraham.org/SH_HowToBecomeAChristian.asp

http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Invitation.html

http://www.howtobecomeachristian.org/indexA.html

Now, one of the things Norm criticized was the lack of Scripture found in the sinner’s prayer he quoted. However, the links I gave above (all found on the first page of the search engine’s results page) are filled with Scripture. One of them ends by saying that the prayer isn’t what saves, but faith – and they give a Scripture passage to justify that proclamation. I think that is a reasonable thing.

Here are some non-Church of Christ sites that disagree with the use of a “sinner’s prayer” (and most of the sites I found were Church of Christ… interesting…):

An interesting Calvinist perspective: http://www.irishcalvinist.com/?p=763

A prof at Biola: http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6871

A post-modernist blog about it: http://www.faceslikeflint.com/?p=105

The thing I find compelling is the argument that too many people use the prayer like a box to check off, and once they do that they can go on doing whatever they want instead of submitting themselves to God, and dying to self each day.

So, what is the thought of this blog’s audience?

This leads me to a statement of appreciation I’d like to make – you can get angry, or annoyed, or fed up with some of the things that our local CofC TV guys say; but that’s the wrong response. Listen to what they say, and investigate it!

I may disagree with them on some fundamental issues, but I do appreciate that they are out there making us ask questions – and making us look at the things we say we believe. That’s what lies at the heart of the idea of “reformed and always reforming”.

So, thanks to Norm, James and Johnny (and formerly Jason) for making us examine what we believe.

Sola Dei Gloria!
Nathan

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One thought on “Sinner’s Prayer

  1. I dont see them praying a “sinners prayer” when Peter preached the gospel in Acts 2. But does this mean one can not pray to God, begging for his mercy and seeing ones self as lost, needing to be saved. Wonder what Paul was praying about prior to him being baptized? I do think Norm makes a good point and some people do think that some “formula prayer” saves, and many sites have such prayers listed for one to follow to be saved. Did Paul have such a formula when he prayed or was this from his guilty heart? I hope to see more input on this topic…..

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