The Most Important Prayer

The most important prayer of all is the one in which you receive the Lord Jesus Christ. The essence of this prayer is simple — it is calling on His name. The Bible says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21).

What is the name of the Lord, the name which brings salvation? His name is Jesus! In Hebrew, it is Yeshua, the Old Testament word for “salvation.” It literally means “Yahweh saves,” or “The LORD saves,” and includes deliverance, rescue, healing and preservation.

Why do we need this salvation? The answer is in the gospel, the "good news" of Jesus Christ. The Bibles says:

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

THAT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE VERY GOOD NEWS, DOES IT? But, really, it is. You see, the Greek word for “sin” literally means to “miss the mark.” Its like an arrow that has been aimed at the bulls-eye, but has somehow been deflected so that if falls short of the target.

What's the good news in that? Well, it means that God created you for something very wonderful — to know and enjoy His glory! He desires for you to participate in the greatness of His power and the goodness of His love. When you look at all the anger, hate, brokenness, destruction and death that is all around us — that doesn't come from God, and it is not why He made us. As the old Gospel song says, "Ain't that good news!"

Of course, the problem is that, although God aimed us at the target of something very wonderful, every one of us has "missed the mark" because of sin, our rebellion against God. But let's continue the journey, because the good news gets better.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

THAT SOUNDS EVEN WORSE, DOESN'T IT? The wages of sin is death! I mean, you've probably heard it before, perhaps bellowed by some grumpy old preacher waving a Bible behind an oversized pulpit. Or maybe you read it, crudely painted on a sign next to the highway, or on the side of an old barn beside some dusty rural road.

But there's good news even in that. It means that God has a plan to do something about all the depravity and ugliness — all the sin that is in the world. He's getting rid of it, and it won't be around any more to interfere with all that is good.

And there is a second half to this verse: "But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." There are wages and there are gifts. A wage is something you earn. It is your pay, something you deserve. You have to do something to receive it. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. Every one of us has sinned, so every one of us is deserving of death.

A gift, on the other hand, is not something you earn but something you receive freely. You don't work for a gift, you simply accept it. It is not something you pay for, nor is it something that is paid to you. It comes from the heart of the giver, no strings attached.

You can go the wage route if you wish, but that certainly would be a shame because God has such a wonderful gift for you: eternal life. That is not just length of life (forever, in fact), it is also a quality of life, enjoying all the good things of God. This life comes through Jesus Christ. It is the "abundant life" Jesus promised in John 10:10.

Ain't that good news!

But why would God do that for us? Let's go a little further down the Romans road and find out.

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

WHY DOES GOD OFFER YOU THIS GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE? Because God loves you. In fact, God is love, and it is the nature of love to give. The Bible says that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3.16).

The value of a thing is said to be judged by how much someone is willing to give for it. If that is so, then you and I must be very valuable to God, because look at what He was willing to give for us — His only Son!

Jesus carried our sins to the Cross, where He accepted the wages that rightfully belonged to us. There is no greater love than that in all the world. In fact, His love for us is so deep that He gave Himself for us even while we were trapped in sin, unable to free ourselves.

That is good news. So now we know why He offers this gift, but how do we receive it? We have one more stop to make.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)

THE BIBLE SAYS THAT JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS, that He was buried, and that He rose again from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). The only thing left is to believe — truly believe it in our hearts.

Of course, to truly believe requires a work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts — we cannot do it on our own. But since you've read this far, I suspect that perhaps He might be doing that work in you, bringing you to the point of faith. Paul said, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17), and what I have been presenting to you comes from the Word of God.

So if you sense faith stirring in your heart and you find yourself ready to believe, or even just desiring to believe, that Jesus died on the Cross for you and that God raised Him from the dead, then confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.

You see, confession is simply a way of exercising faith. It is agreeing with God, taking Him at His word — that is faith, from the bottom of your heart to the tip of your tongue. When you do that, the Bible says that you will be saved. You will receive the gift of God — eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Through faith in Christ, you become a new person. The Bible says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Chirst, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

God will also give you the Holy Spirit — God Himself living inside you — to bring forth the kind of life he meant for you to have. "For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23).

If you would like to receive the Lord Jesus Christ and begin new life in Him, let this simple prayer be your guide.

Dear Lord,

       I confess that I am a sinner and that I have come short of your glory. But I believe that You love me and that Jesus died on the Cross for the forgiveness of my sins. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and I believe in my heart that You have raised Him from the dead. I now receive Your wonderful gift of salvation through Jesus Christ my Lord and I ask You to give me Your Holy Spirit to bring forth the fruit of righteousness in me.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you just prayed that prayer and meant it in your heart, we would love to pray for you as you begin your new journey in Christ. If you would like to tell us about it, you can contact us at:

Walking Barefoot Ministries
P.O. Box 1062
Seffner, FL  33583

  Or email us at:  

© 2004 by Jeff Doles


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