A bit about my qualifications to write this: I am a sinner; I have and continue to pray a great prayer to accept Jesus, and I will die and stand in front of God after I go from Earth to my home in Heaven. Our entrance to Heaven is based on our acceptance of Jesus as our own personal Lord and Savior.
Wondering how to declare your life for Jesus? Here is a great prayer to accept Jesus, based on the Bible verse John 3:16:
Father, I know I sin and can’t save myself. Thank you for loving me enough to send Jesus, who never sinned, to take my place on the cross so that I can be forgiven and gain eternity in Heaven. I believe in Jesus—His words and His advice, as recorded in the Bible. I give you my day, Lord. I commit to following you today and every day until I see your face in Heaven. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Because I am on this journey with Jesus, today I decided to pray this prayer every morning. My relationship with Jesus is a gift that I can re-open and re-commit to every day. You can pray this great prayer to accept Jesus every day too!
About 45 years ago, I wanted to join our church as an official member. At the time, part of the process was meeting with an elder (a spiritual leader for the church) for an interview of sorts, explaining your Christian testimony. This is what I remember about it:
Elder: Tell me how you became a Christian.
Me: I grew up in the church, and one night, as a kid, I couldn’t sleep because I was afraid a robber would come into my bedroom. I had heard that if I accepted Jesus, He would always live inside me and help me. So I asked Jesus to come into my heart.
Elder: I’m not hearing something that’s important in accepting Jesus as your Savior.
Me: Hmm, well, I know I believed in Him if that’s what you’re getting at.
Elder: As a part of your belief, did you realize that you were a sinner and needed Jesus to be a sacrifice for your sin?
Me: To be honest, in 3rd grade, I didn’t get why Jesus had to die; that came much later. At church camp, we each got a stick that represented our sins. We could throw our sticks into the fire if we believed and accepted that Jesus died for our sins. My sin disappeared in the flames that night. I could only cry and thank Him for forgiving me.
I saw the relief on the elder’s face; she knew I understood the gospel message. As I continue to grow in knowledge, I develop a greater understanding of God and what He taught through His words in the Bible.
For a moment, let’s read the verse on which I based the great prayer to accept Jesus:
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.
Let’s examine the keywords in this passage. It tells us that God “loved the world.” You are a person in this world; you can insert your name where it says “the world”.
God loves us so much that He gave us the great gift of his son Jesus—who lived without sinning—to “believe” in. Jesus also said that He is “the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). “Father” refers to God, our Heavenly Father.
What does belief in the context of John 3:16 mean? The New Testament—the part of the Bible that recounts the life of Jesus—the Greek word for belief is pisteuo, which means to be convinced of something. It means we each must be convinced that Jesus Christ died on the cross and came back to life (Jesus coming back to life three days after His death is why we celebrate Easter) so God can forgive our own personal sins.
It sounds so simple, yet it’s so difficult to grasp how deep, vast, and all-consuming God’s love for us is. Because of Jesus’ selfless acts, we are all called God’s daughters and sons.
In case you need it, here it is again—a great prayer to accept Jesus:
Father, I know I sin and can’t save myself. Thank you for loving me enough to send Jesus, who never sinned, to take my place on the cross so that I can be forgiven and gain eternity in Heaven. I believe in Jesus—His words and His advice, as recorded in the Bible. I give you my day Lord. I commit to following you today and every day until I see your face in Heaven. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
He is mine, and I am His. It’s who I am. (Thank you, Ben Fuller, for this amazing song, “Who I Am.”)
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