Ray Comfort recently released a video explaining why he doesn't use the sinner's prayer. You can watch this below.
As usual, I agree with everything Ray has to say about the topic. Which would a wife prefer, the adulterer repeat what someone tells you to repeat, or him turn away from that adultery with a genuine, heartfelt apology (Or so much sobbing he can not speak at all). Ray often remembers an account of someone who was weeping so much (Due to being convicted of his sin) he could not say the Sinner's Prayer.
There is no formula we are shown in the Bible to repeat a few words and we will be saved no matter what. In fact, the whole idea of a Sinner's prayer is completely absent from Scripture. Apologists of the Sinner's prayer often point to a certain verse. That verse is Romans 10:13 (ESV).
"For 'whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"
What people often forget about this verse is that it is a part of a wider picture. Might we take a look at the verse before it. Romans 10:12 (ESV)
So the focus of that beautiful verse is not that we may look at "calls the name of the Lord", but that we may look at "whoever". Also, think of this: if there were no outward influence and you have never heard of a "Sinner's Prayer", would such a verse lead you to think about the concept? A special prayer that causes someone to be saved? I wouldn't think so. In fact, of all the people who were shown to have been saved, throughout both covenants, were saved by something other than a sinner's prayer. Was Paul of Tarsus saved via sinner's prayer? What about Abraham? No, both were saved by faith through grace.
I am convinced that the Sinner's prayer has become the biggest stumbling block to those who we know as false converts (who think they are saved, but aren't). But if it isn't from scripture, where did such a thing come from? Who started it? Well, like many things throughout Church history, it can be traced back to Charles Finney, who popularized it. Finney is not the best source of doctrine. He denied Original Sin (therefore, he was a Pelagian). Since then, the doctrine of the Sinner's Prayer has gotten closer and closer to an "Easy Believism" (The belief that salvation does not automatically include regeneration and does not necessitate repentance).
Paul Washer has rightly spoken out against this, and even stated that he is declaring war on the sinner's prayer.
About the Author
Brandon C. Hines is a young writer from somewhere in northern Alabama who writes about Theology, Polemics, and Apologetics. His beliefs are best summarized by the 1689 London Baptist Confession.
You can search for various topics I have written about by going to Google and typing in a keyword, then typing site:Learningthepath.weebly.com after it.