READING: Psalms 51-53, Romans 2
“Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.”
It’s a prayer that we can easily enter, as all of us have committed sin against God. The grief our sin brings is great, and the anguish of a convicted heart can be ongoing. The enemy, in fact, wants us to be so consumed with our guilt that we experience no joy in Christ. He wants our guilt to become our idol.
That’s when simply praying Psalm 51 from an honestly repentant heart is in order. Listen to some of David’s requests as he prayed after being confronted over his sin with Bathsheba:
- “Be gracious to me, God.” (Psa. 51:1)
- “Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psa. 51:2)
- “Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (Psa. 51:7)
- “Turn Your face away from my sins and blot out all my guilt. God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psa. 51:9-10)
- “Do not banish me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit.” (Psa. 51:11-12)
The cries are personal and penetrating. They admit guilt and accept responsibility. Beyond expressing gripping confession, they cling to the promise of God’s forgiveness – when He forgives, the psalmist would teach the rebellious, sing of God’s righteousness, and declare His praise. From the broken heart of the psalmist would come the song of God’s “abundant compassion” (Psa. 51:2). He, the God of mercy, would welcome “a broken and humbled heart” (Psa. 51:17).
That’s a good, good God.
- Confess your sins to God, using Psalm 51 to do it.
- Receive His forgiveness, and sing His praises.
PRAYER: “God, forgive me. Give me a clean heart and a renewed spirit.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Psalms 54-56, Romans 3