is the sinners prayer biblical
NO! The sinner's prayer is not biblical. You probably are wondering by now why then it is practiced today in many evangelical churches, well then what we can say is we don't know why. Jesus never taught His disciples the sinner's prayer neither did they use it anywhere in scripture, to be frank with you, it was unknown to the church until some 500 years ago and since then it has become very popular among evangelicals.
The effect of Decisionism and baptismal Regeneration has become the biggest engine of false conversion nowadays, many professing Christian's assurance of their belief rest on what is today known as the four spiritual laws or the sinner's prayer. As long as a person has prayed the sinner's prayer sincerely is believed to have been saved. That is going to create a problem because Christianity is being made a religion of works, it is widely accept in evangelical churches that sinners are seeking after God and if they confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord then they are in, just like that. Well in my biblical point of view that will only qualify you to be a demon, let me qualify that: “You believe that there is one God; You do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James_2:19 ). To say that you believe in Jesus means literally nothing at all if it is only a matter of external utterance.
Repentance is no longer viewed as a necessary practice and has been replaced by the sinner's prayer, some people pray that prayer every night before going to sleep just in case Jesus comes back during the night, their confidence is on the prayer they have prayed and it settles their eternity, the sinner's prayer is nothing but a lie from hell and is sending many people to hell more that what we know as sin. I have asked quit a lot of people in different churches if they were saved, its only a few who reply with a no answer and to those who believe themselves to be saved I ask them how do they know if they were saved and they reply by saying “because I believe in Jesus”, then I ask them how they know that they believe and they reply by saying “because I have prayed the sinner's prayer”. I know a preacher who continues to say that anyone who has not prayed the sinner's prayer is not a true Christian. After praying the prayer the preacher then declares the person saved without knowing what's in their hearts. I am convinced that Only God can declare a Person Saved or not saved.
You probably are wondering where they got that silly idea; well this is a result of taking a verse out of context, Romans 10:9 is their key verse, what is strange enough is that when you read those verses in context you don't find any sinner's prayer anywhere. The danger of taking verses out of context is that you can make a verse say what ever you want it to say and that way there will not be any absolute truth in the Word of God and everyone can just interpret the bible the way they want.
Paul could be speaking to both non believers and believers in these verses , the word of faith being near their mouth and in their hearts would not possibly mean that every sinner has faith in himself because that would contradict the Scriptural doctrine of Regeneration. The bible makes it clear that the sinner in his natural condition is away and alienated from God, therefore man in his natural condition cannot receive the things of God (1Cor 2:14). It is obvious that Romans 10 is not giving us some kind of methodology on how to convert people, Salvation is a work of God and done by God alone without the help of the preacher, the work of the preacher is to preach the gospel and not to save people.
Let us evaluate some few examples in the bible of people who got saved, The thief who was crucified with Jesus on the cross was saved at that moment on the cross but we don't see Jesus telling him to repeat a prayer after Him (Luk 23:43).
The jailer in Acts 16 asked Paul and Silas what he must do to be saved, their reply was not “repeat this prayer after me…”, they told him to believe on the Lord Jesus and He would be saved.
Peter on the day of Pentecost after preaching his sermon, the people who heard him preach asked him what they should do to be saved and he told them that they should repent and be baptized…(Acts 2:38).
Everywhere in scripture people are being told to repent and believe the Gospel of which message began to be preached by the lord Himself (Mar_1:15). The early church never knew of anything called a sinner's prayer and it is evident to us that this idea is just a modern invention in contemporary Christianity. The danger of it is that we are warned by scripture not to alter its content in any way (Rev 22:19), whether adding or taking away its content is not allowed. The sinner's prayer is a new addition and everyone who puts their confidence on that prayer and not on Christ is in danger of hell fire. I am not saying that everyone who has prayed a sinner's prayer will go to hell, there are people who have prayed that prayer but never rested upon the thought that the sinner's prayer settled their salvation but they trust in Jesus and rely on Him completely for their salvation. Do not be deceived if your pastor tells you that you are in by just praying a prayer once, he is lying to you.
Soli Deo Gloria