READ | Psalm 51:1-2, 7, 10-12

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. …

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. …

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.


Read the passage aloud slowly focusing on the repetition of the psalmist’s requests for release and relief from his worldly desires. Then read the passage as your own prayer, confessing your sinfulness to God and asking for forgiveness.

Think about the depth of passion, the desperation in David’s prayer for God’s mercy, his yearning for salvation, and his understanding of God’s power and compassion for his humanity. Listen for the pleading tone of the passage and search your heart for the measure of your desire for mercy and salvation.


Merciful, loving Father God, I bow before you and surrender all to your will. Help me to seek after you as passionately as David did and to yearn for your presence. Forgive me, cleanse me, renew my spirit, and sustain me as I follow the path you set my feet upon. I love you, Lord.


Contributed by Cheryl Jones, Spiritual Director