Scripture text for Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010: Psalm 51:1-51:19
Not unlike many people, the Psalms are one of my favorite books in the Bible. It may be the change in form, the poetry of the words, or just the connections I can make with the authors’ struggles and my own, but very rarely do I open up and read a Psalm and am not convicted about something in my character or life that is keeping my prayers and spiritual life from completely connecting with God.
Psalm 51 is no different. David is bringing his sin with Bathsheba before God (2 Samuel 11-12) in a prayer. We all identify with sin, but do we bring it to God in prayer on a regular basis, seriously? David gives me, as a reader, a way to approach God and bring my sin before him, a prayer instruction guide, if you will, when my words are not enough.
Step One: Ask!
David pleads with God for forgiveness and his unfailing love then asks him to, “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin (Psalm 51:2). Is this our greatest desire, to be forgiven, when we come before the Lord in prayer? Or do we come in prayer to “feel better” or to get what we want? Or because we feel like it is what we are supposed to be doing as Christians?
Step Two: Confess Sin!
David lays it all out there. Realizing that he has sinned against God, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…” (Psalm 51: 4). When I come in prayer am I honest about my sin before God? Does my heart hurt for the sadness I have caused God in my sinning?
Step Three: Being able to let the sin go and praise God!
David trusts that God will cleanse him from his sin. And that God will “create a pure heart..” and “renew a steadfast spirit…” (Psalm 51:10). In this trust, David is able to declare God’s praise. Do we have this trust in God that when we present our sins, he washes them away and then are we able to let them go?
Lord, thank you for the words of David! Thank you for a way to bring my sins before you and to be “washed, whiter than snow” (Psalm 51: 7). But Lord, help me take bringing my sins before you seriously “with a broken and contrite heart” (Psalm 51:17).
Devotion prepared by Sarah Clark