Many people have been told that to be saved, they must pray a prayer of salvation. However, the Bible does not teach that salvation takes place due to a certain prayer or even that it requires a prayer. Instead, salvation is based on God's grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).
John 3:16 was the response of Jesus to Nicodemus when they discussed salvation. Jesus taught, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." The essential elements include God sending Jesus because of His love for all people and that faith in the Son is required for eternal life.
Romans 10:9 expresses the key ideas involved for the person who wishes to receive salvation: "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Jesus came to earth as fully God and fully man. He died as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins, literally resurrected from the dead in victory over sin and death, and offers us new life. Faith in Jesus is about believing Him to be who He said He is and accepting that His work on the cross is sufficient to cover our sins and restore us to relationship with God.
Some have wondered if there are other ways to be saved, such as through works or special knowledge. Jesus claims to be the only way. In John 14:6 He specifically taught, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." The apostles would later affirm this teaching, saying, "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Only Jesus can save us.
The results of salvation include both eternal life (John 3:16) as well as abundant life now (John 10:10). First Peter 1:8-9 share, "Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
Just because there is no specific prayer required for salvation, however, does not mean prayer cannot be used when you place your faith in Christ. Prayer is a great way to "confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord" (Romans 10:9). Are you willing to place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and receive this free gift of eternal life? If so, do it now. As stated, there is no special prayer you must pray to do so. However, the following is a sample prayer you can use to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior:
"Dear God, I realize I am a sinner in need of salvation. I can never save myself by good deeds or through special knowledge. Only Jesus can save me. So right now I place my faith in Jesus Christ. I believe Him to be the Son of God, who died for my sins, and rose from the dead to give me eternal life. Please forgive me of my sins and help me to live for you. Thank you for accepting me and giving me eternal life."
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