What to Pray When You’ve Fouled Up

I hate to admit it, but might as well… I’ve had to make David’s prayer in Psalm 51 my prayer more often than I’d like to acknowledge.   Covering up sin doesn’t help…  “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13 ESV)  Acknowledging my sin to God and asking Him to forgive me has been the only effective solution to deal with guilt that I’m aware of… (“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess (acknowledge) our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sin and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1.8-9)

So here are David’s words from Psalm 51 that I read again this morning (words, I’ve had to make my own on more occasions than I’d like to admit).  …Word’s you might want to keep handy, if you’re at all like me …Words, that if you pray them sincerely from your heart, God has promised to honor and heed!!

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight… Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me… You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”  (From Psalm 51)

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