Many people ask, “Is there a prayer I can pray that will guarantee my  salvation?” It is important to remember that salvation is not received by  reciting a prayer or uttering certain words. The Bible nowhere records a  person’s receiving salvation by a prayer. Saying a prayer is not the biblical  way of salvation.

The biblical method of salvation is faith in Jesus  Christ. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that  whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Salvation is  gained by faith (Ephesians  2:8), by receiving Jesus as Savior (John 1:12),  and by fully trusting Jesus alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), not by reciting a  prayer.

The biblical message of salvation is simple and clear and  amazing at the same time. We have all committed sin against God (Romans 3:23). Other than Jesus Christ, there is no one  who has lived an entire life without sinning (Ecclesiastes 7:20). Because of our sin, we have earned  judgment from God (Romans  6:23), and that judgment is physical death followed by spiritual death.  Because of our sin and its deserved punishment, there is nothing we can do on  our own to make ourselves right with God. As a result of His love for us, God  became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect life  and always taught the truth. However, humanity rejected Jesus and put Him to  death by crucifying Him. Through that horrible act, though, Jesus died in our  place. Jesus took the burden and judgment of sin on Himself, and He died in our  place (2  Corinthians 5:21). Jesus was then resurrected (1 Corinthians 15), proving  that His payment for sin was sufficient and that He had overcome sin and death.  As a result of Jesus’ sacrifice, God offers us salvation as a gift. God calls us  all to change our minds about Jesus (Acts 17:30)  and to receive Him as the full payment of our sins (1 John 2:2).  Salvation is gained by receiving the gift God offers us, not by praying a  prayer.

Now, that does not mean prayer cannot be involved in receiving  salvation. If you understand the gospel, believe it to be true, and have  accepted Jesus as your salvation, it is good and appropriate to express that  faith to God in prayer. Communicating with God through prayer can be a way to  progress from accepting facts about Jesus to fully trusting in Him as Savior.  Prayer can be connected to the act of placing your faith in Jesus alone for  salvation.

Again, though, it is crucially important that you do not base  your salvation on having said a prayer. Reciting a prayer cannot save you! If  you want to receive the salvation that is available through Jesus, place your  faith in Him. Fully trust His death as the sufficient sacrifice for your sins.  Completely rely on Him alone as your Savior. That is the biblical method of  salvation. If you have received Jesus as your Savior, by all means, say a prayer  to God. Tell God how thankful you are for Jesus. Offer praise to God for His  love and sacrifice. Thank Jesus for dying for your sins and providing salvation  for you. That is the biblical connection between salvation and prayer.