June 27, 2020
Psalm 51 the prayer King David prayed in response to the prophet Nathan, who ‘noticed’ David’s weeds, broken pavers, and sinkholes. David was devastated by what he had done (adultery, manipulation and murder) through his since of entitlement. He had destroyed lives, tarnished his own legacy, and come to the realization that his sin was against God alone because those victims of David’s entitlements were God’s precious and beloved creation1
The good news is that David was willing to do the weeding and repair work to get his life back on track – fully centered in God – to reclaim God’s intention for his life as a man after God’s own heart. This same good news is for us as well!
I offer Psalm 51 as our prayer this week. (printed below for your convenience) I pray that we will pray it with the same sense of sorrow for those weeds, broken pavers, and sinkholes we have failed to notice in our own lives and humbly begin working with God to make all things new in our lives and in the lives of those we touch in God’s name!
Prayer for Cleansing and Pardon. To the leader. A Psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Against You, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight,
so that You are justified in Your sentence and blameless when You pass judgment. Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that You have crushed rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to You.
Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of Your deliverance.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise.
For You have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, You would not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
Do good to Zion in Your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
then You will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on Your altar.