Why is there no “sinner’s prayer” in the Catholic Answers’ outreach brochure “God’s Love for You”?
Catholics may certainly pray a sinner’s prayer, such as the publican’s “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). Indeed some priests suggest the publican’s prayer as an act of contrition for penitents in the confessional. And Catholic Answers’ brochure does stress the reality of sin and the need for repentance; it even gives instructions on “What to do next.”
However, putting a Sinner’s Prayer in the instructions could confuse those reading the brochure about the Catholic understanding of salvation. Many Protestant evangelists include a Sinner’s Prayer in their outreach tracts because they believe that reciting the prayer with a sincere heart is all that is necessary for salvation. To avoid such confusion, that prayer is not included in “God’s Love for You.”