Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Psalm 51



A PENITENTIAL PSALM
FOR HOLY WEEK
Have mercy on me, O God, according to
    your loving-kindness; *
    in your great compassion blot out
    my offenses.

Wash me through and through
    from my wickedness *
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, *
    and my sin is ever before me.

Against you only have I sinned *
    and done what is evil in your sight.

And so you are justified when you speak *
    and upright in your judgment.
 
Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth*
    a sinner from my mother's womb.
 
For behold, you look for truth
    deep within me, *
    and will make me understand
    wisdom secretly.
 
Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure *
    wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.

Make me hear of joy and gladness, *
    that the body you have broken
    may rejoice.
 
Hide your face from my sins *
    and blot out all my iniquities.
 
Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
    and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from your presence *
    and take not your holy Spirit from me.

Give me the joy of your saving help again *
    and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.

I shall teach your ways to the wicked, *
    and sinners shall return to you.

Deliver me from death, O God, *
    and my tongue shall
    sing of your righteousness,
    O God of my salvation.

Open my lips, O Lord, *
    and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Had you desired it, I would
    have offered sacrifice, *
    but you take no delight in burnt-offerings.

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; *
    a broken and contrite heart,
    O God, you will not despise.
PSALM 51 [Book of Common Prayer]



Psalm 51 is a Penitential Psalm and King David’s prayer of confession after the prophet Nathan confronted him with his sin. 2 Samuel 11-12 When we are weighed down by our own sins, this is a prayer of renewal, for it is with our broken and contrite heart that God comes to us in His mercy. For over two thousand years, the church has said this Penitential Psalm every morning during the 40 days of Lent. 

In public and personal prayer time, priests, pastors and monastics from the Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox traditions (even from many Protestant traditions) pray this Lenten prayer every morning. 

David’s cry for mercy is our own cry for release from the power of our sins that we so deeply feel and for which we humbly repent during this season of Lent. 

We reach out to God for His forgiveness, mercy and love.. 
He hears our prayers.. and He gives us Good Friday...

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