It’s a little scary how our traditions can slowly take on importance until we think we’re behaving Biblicaly when we’re not. For instance, you won’t find an example in the Bible of people being saved by saying a sinner’s prayer.
Yeah but, what about: …if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom 10:9) Good point. You have to start somewhere. You have to acknowledge that you need a savior.
But our entrance to heaven is not about words that we repeat, it’s about a relationship we have with Jesus. Jesus said: My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:27) If you repeat a prayer, but never learn to hear the Shepherd’s voice, you’re not part of the flock. You only learn to know His voice by spending time with Him. That requires an intimate relationship with Him, one where you love Him more than anything else in your life.
To work out your own salvation (Phil 2:12) is to take stock of your relationship with Jesus. If you are lacking there, then fix it. Repent for ignoring Him. Spend time in the word and prayer. Ask Him to renew your mind so you think His thoughts. Turn to Him with all your issues, hopes, and dreams. He’s there for you. Are you there for Him?