No one can read in the word of God about an alien sinner being saved by prayer. In fact, the expression, “The sinner’s prayer,” is not found one time in the Bible. Such derive from the vain imaginations of man.
In the great commission of Jesus, given after his resurrection, he never spoke of anything about prayer. He said, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16), and that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations” (Luke 24:47).
In all the cases of conversion recorded in the book of Acts, not one time was an alien sinner told to pray. On the day of Pentecost, the inspired apostle Peter told the Jews, after they had asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” to “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Once again, no prayer. When Philip preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch the first thing the eunuch asked was, “See, here is water; what hinders me to be baptized?” Philip, after hearing his confession that Jesus is the Son of God, baptized him (Acts 8:35-38). Again, no prayer. In the conversion of Lydia (Acts 16:14-15) and the Philippian jailor (Acts 16:30-33), we do not read of them being told to pray. However, they all were baptized after faith and repentance. The Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized (Acts 18:8). All of them did what Jesus said to do in the great commission, and for the same purpose Peter stated in Acts 2:38 — for the remission of sins.
Saul of Tarsus, who was praying, was told by Ananias to “arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Here was an alien sinner who was told to stop praying, get up, be baptized, and wash away his sins. “Calling on the name of the Lord” is an expression that means “appealing to the authority of the Lord.” In other words, once one is baptized, they continue in the apostle’s doctrine, that is, the doctrine of Christ. (Acts 2:42 f; 2 Jn 9)
The blind man who had been healed by Jesus rightly said, “Now we know that God hears not sinners: but if any man be a worshiper of God, and does his will, him he hears” (John 9:31). Peter wrote, “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (1 Pet 3:12) This is in alignment with Proverbs 28:9, “He that turns his ear away from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.”
Yet, denominational preachers say that an alien sinner can pray for the forgiveness of sins, and God will forgive, while at the same time he ignores water baptism (Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38) and the plain teaching set forth in the examples of conversions in the book of Acts.
Conclusion: Simply said, no one is saved by saying, “the sinner’s prayer”. Such is a man made doctrine which turns one from the truth, and has no place in the scripture. (Tit 1:14) One is saved by hearing the gospel (Rom 10:17) (How Jesus died for our sin, was buried, and arose again from the dead the 3rd day — 1 Cor 15:1-4); Believe with the heart and confess with the mouth that Jesus is the Christ; (Rom 10:9,10) Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins; (Acts 2:38) And remain faithful unto death. (Rev 2:10) Prayer is the avenue between the saints and God, Jesus being their mediator, for the bible makes it perfectly clear that God hears not sinners. (1 Tim 2:5 f; Jn 9:31)