Posted by Pastor Szekely on February 28, 2007
To pray or not to pray for salvation ~ that is the question!
There can only be two general views on how a person becomes saved [a child of God; born-again, etc]: Faith with or in (their) works or Faith without (their) works.
FAITH WITH (OR IN) WORKS: Many believe that the salvation of a soul is an admixture of “Grace through Faith” along with their works making a person saved OR keeping that person saved…for example…faith in Jesus Christ along with faith in taking communion, reading the Bible, church membership, baptism, [you name it!] for salvation. This teaching is clearly contrary to Scripture: Romans 11:6 says, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work”. The salvation of the Lord must be either by Grace or by works…it cannot be by Grace AND by works!
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS: There are those who believe that the salvation of a soul is by “Grace through Faith” without any work from them: Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
It must all come down to this question: What (or Who) is the Object of saving faith? Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to very on that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” [See also 1 Corinthians 15:1-4]
These verses, and many more, tell us that it is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ – it’s His Work – that will save the sinner! Trying to add works to improve on His Work for salvation is just plain wrong!
BUT: How does a sinner receive, appropriate, or take possession of the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation? Is a soul saved through faith, through prayer, through a prayer of faith, through faith in a prayer…is prayer needed from the sinner to save his soul? We must find out what God’s Word says.
In John 20:31, John gives us the purpose, or the reason why his account of the Gospel was written: “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Now just in John’s account of the Gospel we find a repetitive theme taught in which the way of salvation is through BELIEVING without any mention of prayer! I’ll just give the references to be looked up in John – 1:12; 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 6:35, 47; 7:38-39; 8:24; 11:25-26; 17:19-20; 20:28-29. And this is just in the Book of John! There are many more verses in Acts and the Epistles to show that salvation comes by “believing on the Lord Jesus Christ” for who He is, for what He did, and for what He says He can do for you!
Nobody in the Bible asked Jesus to come into their heart. No soul-winner ever instructed a sinner in the New Testament to pray in order to become a Christian. We are not saved by praying, but by believing…faith…trust…confidence in His Precious Sacrifice!
One final thought: Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”. How can anyone call upon the name of the Lord without knowing Him first as Lord? The Bible says that believing comes before calling: Romans 10:14, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?…”
In Salvation: I have been saved from the penalty of sin…I am saved from the power of sin…I will be saved [one day] from the presence of sin. This explains Romans 10:13 very well…For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved…saved from the power and presence of sin. He who has believed on the Lord has had his penalty removed by the Blood of Christ.
No prayer saves anyone. I’ve met people who actually were doubting their salvation because they wondered if they “said the right things” or “prayed the right prayer” to be saved! Friends, only Jesus saves…and one must have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for who He is [He’s God], for what He’s done [became THE payment for our sin debt], and for what He says He can do [wash away all your sin]!