Evangelist Ray Comfort on Why He Never Leads People in the 'Sinner's Prayer'
New Zealand-born evangelist Ray Comfort, who's best known for his street evangelism in which he asks people about God, the Bible, sin and salvation, explains why he never leads people in the "sinner's prayer."
In Comfort's many taped evangelism videos he is rarely seen praying with those he encounters and has received many questions from believers who are curious about this particular omission.
One commenter posed the question to Comfort on Facebook last Friday: "You often have them at the point of belief but then don't allow them, or encourage them, to confess. You do great work to get them to believe, and yet not confess. If you don't want to lead them in a prayer, which is what people do when they exchange vows at a wedding, why not encourage them to pray their own prayer? Help them if they need it, but why not?
Comfort responded with a video message to provide insight as to why he doesn't lead people in the "sinner's prayer."
"I regularly pray with people off camera. But I think you are talking about leading people is what is often called a 'sinner's prayer.' It's similar to the difference between a 'shotgun' wedding, and one where the bride and groom make vows because they want to. Many who make decisions for Christ nowadays are shotgun weddings. They are manipulated by man rather than born of God, and it has filled our churches with false converts," he said.
Comfort also used the example of a husband and wife who are at odds. He explained that leading someone in the "sinner's prayer" is similar to him walking up to the house of the fighting couple with the husband, then ringing the bell and telling the wife that her husband was terribly sorry and then proceeding to lead the husband in an apology to his wife.
The California-based minister pointed to the fact that the apology would not be sincere or genuine since it's not coming directly from the heart of the husband. He likened that scenario to the way one should pray and repent of their sins on their own to God and not be led by someone else.
Comfort's evangelism videos can be seen on YouTube. His work also includes the miniseries "The Way of the Master" and films "180: Changing the Heart of a Nation," and "Noah and the Last Days."
His last film, "Audacity" took on the subject of homosexuality and Christianity, and seeks to answer the question of whether or not Christians should share the truth of the Bible with the LGBT community even if it's frowned upon.