How to Lead a Child in the “Sinner’s Prayer”

Sinner’s Prayer For Kids

A good thing to bear in mind when leading a child in the sinner’s prayer is that children are very literal. Many of them believe that just saying certain words is what saves them. It is up to us parents and teachers to make sure that children know that the prayer they are getting ready to say expresses their belief in Jesus; and is not the same as magic words. The following paragraphs give a step by step guide for leading a child in the sinner’s prayer.

Guidance For Sinner’s Prayer for Kids

During the “Sinner’s Prayer” time, I guide the child along a bit by saying something like, “Jason, one thing that Jesus wants to do is forgive your sins. If you want Jesus to forgive your sins, and you want him to be in charge of your life now, then you need to tell him.”

God Looks on the Heart

I always tell a child that repeating words will not save him unless he means what he says. I remind him that man looks on the outside of things, but God looks at what is in our hearts. Then I say that I am going to pray, and ask him if he would like to pray out loud or in his heart after I pray. Then I say something like this, “OK, Jason, you can repeat after me or make up your own words.” (If the child said he wanted to pray silently I still guide in prayer out loud, and give a few moments of silence after each sentence for the child to pray silently.)

The Sinner’s Prayer For Children

Dear Lord,

Thank you so much for Jason. Thank you for  helping him realize that he is a sinner and needs your forgiveness. Thank you for dying on the cross for him. I pray that you will hear Jason now as he asks you to save him. ‘

Then I say, “Now, Jason, you can repeat after me, or make up your own words to this prayer, and say something like this:

“Dear God,  I know that I am a sinner. I know that you sent Jesus to be my Savior, and that He died on the cross to take the punishment for my sins.  I know that Jesus rose from the dead and is coming back someday. Please forgive me of all of my sins, and come into my life and change me. Please guide me in my life and help me to follow you for the rest of my life. Thank you for saving me and taking me to heaven when I die.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Document a Child’s Salvation Time

After the sinner’s prayer I then give the child an appropriate hug. Then I say, “Welcome to God’s family!” Then I help the child write down the date on the flyleaf of his or her Bible to help him or her remember this time. I usually say something like this, “You know, Jason, even if you forget the date of your salvation, God will still remember it. But we are writing it down here because it is kind of nice to remember your spiritual birthday. That way if the devil whispers in your ear that you are not really saved, you just get out your Bible and point at this date and tell him to get away from you!Visual reminders of one’s salvation experience can help prevent doubts as a child grows up. Memories grow foggy, and anything that drives down a stake, so to speak, helps affirm the fact that he or she did make this decision.

Keepsake Pages Affirm Salvation

This is why I added eight keepsake pages to the back of the second edition of Answers For New Christians. There are places to paste in pictures, write blessings and prayers from your pastor, Sunday school teacher, and family members. There are even pages to record baptism and the First Lord’s Supper. Children love to document their salvation experience, and it helps them cement their decision in their minds. Make a memory book of your child’s salvation.

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