“Evangelism is more than simply encouraging decisions for Christ. It is urging people to become disciples, followers of Jesus Christ.” Billy Graham
Growing up in a Baptist church, I remember having an altar call every Sunday morning while the organist played a song like “Just As I Am.”
The definition of altar call at Merriam Webster: an appeal by an evangelist to worshippers to come forward to signify their decision to commit their lives to Christ. The online dictionary gave examples and links to articles including Billy Graham’s famous altar calls.
Dad and I watched numerous revival crusades on television preached by Reverend Graham. I loved seeing hundreds of people, some accepting Jesus for the first time and some rededicating their lives to Him, walk to the front during his altar calls.
The past two Sunday mornings have been reminiscent of my Baptist upbringing and Billy Graham’s crusades. My pastor is doing altar calls his way. During our final prayer, he asks people to raise their hands if they want to give their lives to Jesus and he prays with them. I’m usually stirred up enough by the end of his sermons to be saved all over again.
Saved doesn’t mean we get it all right. In fact, that’s why we need Jesus, because we don’t get it right. Saved is all about loving Him and having a relationship. I remember a speaker saying, “The only difference between me and a non-Christian is I know I need God in my life and they don’t … yet.”
Jesus is that simple to accept, but sometimes it’s hard to admit.
At our church’s baptism yesterday, Pastor JP asked each individual being baptized two questions, “Do you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?” and “Will you do your best to follow Him the rest of your life?”
Here at the end, I wanted to do an altar call for us just in case anyone reading along wanted to begin or begin again his or her relationship with Jesus. Here’s one version of the prayer called the sinner’s prayer or the salvation prayer.
Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and into my life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. I pray this in Your name. Amen.
As always, I’m grateful for you and your comments.
In This Together,