God, be merciful to me because you are loving. Because you are always ready to be merciful, wipe out all my wrongs. Wash away all my guilt and make me clean again.
I know about my wrongs, and I can’t forget my sin.
You are the only one I have sinned against; I have done what you say is wrong.
You are right when you speak and fair when you judge. [vss 1-4]
I was brought into this world in sin. In sin my mother gave birth to me. You want me to be completely truthful, so teach me wisdom.
Take away my sin, and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Make me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you crushed be happy again. Turn your face from my sins and wipe out all my guilt. [vss 5-9]
Create in me a pure heart, God, and make my spirit right again. Do not send me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me.
Give me back the joy of your salvation. Keep me strong by giving me a willing spirit. [vss 10-12]
For the director of music. A psalm of David when the prophet Nathan came to David after David’s sin with Bathsheba.
(Psalms 51:1-12 NCV) [context— Psalm 51; 2 Samuel 11–12]
Honesty in prayer is essential. God values it. He honors it. But we have a hard time doing it.
By default, we put up a deceptive front. We justify ourselves before we get honest, genuinely honest. It's just the way we are.
This prayerful psalm of King David came after he was confronted by Nathan the prophet. The story is found in 2 Samuel 12:1-15.
David committed adultery and murder, and then tried to cover it up (2 Samuel 11). But he was found out and confronted by God through Nathan.
No matter who we are, our first reaction is to be self-defensive, to justify ourselves even with God (Gen 3:11-13). God understands and knows this.
When we're ready to get gut-level honest with God, David's prayer in this psalm is a great guide to follow.
First, he appeals for God's mercy and love to remove and cleanse his heart of his wrong. He describes his wrong simply as sin.
He acknowledges God's righteousness and justice. He also realizes his sin is against God above all, even though others were victimized by it.
He knows what God desires—complete truthfulness—heart honesty. Then he begins to appeal for resolution. Not of things on the outside, but internal rightness.
He asks for a pure heart and spiritual rightness, a sense of God's closeness and presence. David also asks God to restore "the joy of your salvation," and to give him a willing, submissive heart.
David knows the Lord is his only refuge and source of restoration, so he gets gut-level honest with God. ©Word-Strong_2016
Are you able to be genuinely honest with God?
Are you willing to be gut-level honest with God?
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?
I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.
So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!