Some tv preachers or gospel tracts make it simple. "Just repeat after me." Or, "just say these words."
But the Holy Spirit himself is here to challenge you. Have a heart to heart... with God.
We can fool the world with our actions. But we all sense in the depths of our being that God knows both the thoughts and the motives that lie behind our words and that are driving our actions. It is this disconnect which drives a wedge between our hearts and the heart of the God we long to know.
It is this that we must all deal with first. Salvation begins with acknowledging our true natures; first admitting to myself exactly what I am all about. And then admitting it to God. We sin of our own free will!
That's why your first prayer is a heart to heart talk. God has created in us a purpose, but we reject Him in order to go our own way. In a court of law, God would stand as the injured party, entitled to full recompense. Indeed, recompense is the only just response when you injure another person.
Court proceedings always start with the defendant pleading "guilty" or "not guilty." This is no time for a heart bypass. It's important to speak what is really in your heart. "Guilty, your Honor."
But don't stop there! Throw yourself on the mercy of the court! Ask for forgiveness.
You see, God... as both the injured party and the judge, is strongly inclined to be merciful. He loves you. And while justice demands the penalty be paid, mercy has a power of its own. And God has opted, not to dismiss the charges... that would not be just. Rather He has chosen to pay the penalty on your behalf.
In the person of Jesus, God Himself was executed for our crimes. What is required of you is to acknowledge not only crime and penalty, but God's very great love for you. You do this when you accept Jesus as the One whose death saved you from paying for your sins yourself.
This is where out of the abundance of your heart, your mouth speaks. With the heart man believes unto righteousness. It's an inner admission. And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. It's a spoken, a verbal, a for-all-to-hear admission.
Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus. Because God didn't just make Jesus Saviour, He made him Lord! When you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you recognize that not only was he executed on your behalf as the just penalty for your crimes, but that he was resurrected!
The second part of that verse is important. It means the sentence was commuted. What's more, your sins have been expunged from the heavenly record and your conscience has been cleared of all charges.
Eternal imprisonment to death is no longer the ultimate penalty for our crimes. And freedom from the grave means freedom to really live!
Jesus is more than our Savior, He's our Lord! Because He is Lord over death. And because he is Lord over life.
Now is the time you've been waiting for. Have a heart to heart with God.
Acknowledge your true nature.
Admit that you sinned of your own free will.
Ask for forgiveness.
And accept Jesus as not only the one who saves you, but as the source of your future guidance.
The word is nigh thee, even in they mouth, and in thy heart.