I heard it again last night. One of the most popular youth speakers in America asked everyone to bow their heads, close their eyes, and repeat after him. Then his prayer went a little something like this: “Dear Jesus. I believe in you. Please forgive me. Please come into my life. Please save me. Please fill me. I love you. Thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.” So what do you think? Is that an sufficient prayer for salvation? What elements of the gospel do you believe are non-negotiable for salvation? What do you say to lead a teen to Christ? Well, wouldn’t ya know? I wrote a paper about it in seminary. I really hope this is helpful to your ministry, and that God blesses your ministry with tons of genuine conversions to Christ!
By the way, I personally never pray a prayer of salvation for others to repeat after me. Honestly, I would NEVER repeat a prayer after a preacher because I have NO CLUE what he’s about to say. Why would I say something to God when I don’t even know what the next word is? How is that from my heart? I rather give students the non-negotiable elements of the gospel, make sure they know it well enough to pray it for themselves which says to me that they understand it enough to believe it. If someone cannot sufficiently explain the gospel to you, how can we be so sure that they are trusting in it for salvation? Isn’t that what God is after? Not a one time prayer, but a life that trusts in the gospel of Jesus Christ for salvation!