From the CSB Team
Thanks for joining us for our monthly Praying the Bible series! God’s Word is one of the most powerful tools he gives us for approaching him and shaping our hearts after his. In the midst of hectic schedules and long to-do lists, let’s not neglect this priority. Learn more about the Praying the Bible Series.
“Be gracious to me, God,
according to your faithful love;
according to your abundant compassion,
blot out my rebellion.
Completely wash away my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.”
– Psalm 51:1-2, CSB
We can’t deny the reality of sin in our lives. So what does godly repentance look like?
David doesn’t minimize or ignore his sin. He doesn’t try to jump straight back into prayer without asking for God’s forgiveness. Instead, he pleads for God’s mercy.
David prostrates himself before God. He humbles himself under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6). We hear a lot about humbling ourselves before others. That can seem like the scary part, but God first asks us to humble ourselves before him, our holy God.
On what grounds can we bare our sinful hearts before a holy God? Look how the first two verses are arranged in a chiasmus—the structure of the first is flipped in the second. By using this literary technique, David is emphasizing the molten core of this passage: the character of God is in accordance with forgiveness.
Our God is a God of faithful love and abundant compassion. That is why we can run to him with confidence that he can and will completely wash away our guilt and cleanse us from our sin.
Suggestions for prayer:
- Confess your sins to God. Don’t try to minimize or gloss over them; he already knows them perfectly. Name them, and ask him for his forgiveness.
- Worship our God. How amazing is it that our holy Creator is gracious with us? We know even better than David did how much it cost for our righteous God to declare us righteous (Romans 3:26).
- Ask that God would cleanse your heart of sin. Ask for freedom from besetting sins. Ask for strength to love your spouse and your kids well.
- Pray for the hearts of those in your family, that they would run to God for his forgiveness. If there are ways you need to forgive or to be forgiven, ask God for help as you prepare to go speak with that person.