Prayer, Plain and Simple

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me
now let me rejoice.
Psalm 51:7

The bad news comes before the Good News. It must. But now we turn that corner.

We ask God for blessing, but we first recognize that compromises within us can block blessing. Today we reach out to God to receive pardon and transformation – the Good News!

Psalm 51 has a backstory. It is the prayer of King David after he’s confronted with his guilt as an adulterer and murderer. David had God’s blessing, but his choices crippled his capacity to receive it. When David’s sin was exposed he had a choice: Fight or flight, or fall in submission. He chose submission. Psalm 51 is his plea for a renovated soul and our model for what to do in the face of shame.

Read Psalm 51 as your prayer, with your own backstory in mind. God reveals secrets in our hearts, but he also cures them, when we submit and ask. Take the journey through this prayer carefully. With David’s words as your own go to the place David himself could not: The Cross of Jesus. Carry compromise, habit, addiction, co-dependence, self centeredness, self reliance – whatever your crutch – to the one toxic waste dump of the universe – the Cross.

Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.

Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit[
d] from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Psalm 51:10-12.

Ask your partner to join you in this confession. We need to hear God’s will in the voice of another announcing our absolution. So share your confession, then ask them to tell you the Truth, the Good News… “You are free and clear, in Jesus!”

And now that we’ve covered the basics, the fun begins!


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