We talk about salvation being a gift from God, but then we describe some act we performed making us worthy of salvation. Grace becomes a reward for something we’ve done.
You say a prayer … but if you have to ask for salvation it’s not a gift.
You decide to change your life … however, if you have the ability to change your life apart from God, you don’t need Him.
If you must exercise your free-will to believe … what’s the point of God’s grace?
You are the one beginning the work of salvation and all He does is reply. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that even believing-faith is a gift from Him.
Prayer, repentance, and faith are but human responses to what God does in saving someone, they don’t originate God’s work or add to it. Anything I might add or do to be saved makes me my own co-redeemer.
No flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God – and righteousness and sanctification and redemption – that as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:29-31).