God is merciful. His love is steadfast. It is unwavering, resolute, and not dependent on our sin or our circumstances. God’s love towards us does not depend on us, our situation, or our circumstances. His mercy and kindness towards us are innumerable and beyond our understanding, as they are without limit. In God’s loving-kindness, he cleanses us from every sin, inequity, failure, and shortcoming of ours.
Psalm 51 – is a great prayer of confession of sin. It is a prayer seeking purity and holiness in our lives. Read the Psalms in peace, understanding each word, without rushing through them. Read them, pausing as often as you want to. Think about what you have read. Ideally, only after you have thought enough, resume your reading.
The first version of Psalm 51, given below, is from the Passion version of the Bible. Read it aloud at a slow pace, pausing and thinking as required.
Prayer of Confession
God, give me mercy from your fountain of forgiveness!
I know your abundant love is enough to wash away my guilt.
Because your compassion is so great,
take away this shameful guilt of sin.
Forgive the full extent of my rebellious ways,
and erase this deep stain on my conscience.
For I’m so ashamed.
I feel such pain and anguish within me.
I can’t get away from the sting of my sin against you, Lord!
Everything I did, I did right in front of you, for you saw it all.
Against you, and you above all, have I sinned.
Everything you say to me is infallibly true
and your judgment conquers me.
Lord, I have been a sinner from birth,
from the moment my mother conceived me.
I know that you delight to set your truth deep in my spirit.
So come into the hidden places of my heart
and teach me wisdom.
Purify my conscience! Make this leper clean again!
Wash me in your love until I am pure in heart.
Satisfy me in your sweetness, and my song of joy will return.
The places you have crushed within me
will rejoice in your healing touch.
Hide my sins from your face;
erase all my guilt by your saving grace.
Keep creating in me a clean heart.
Fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires, ready to please you.
May you never reject me!
May you never take from me your sacred Spirit!
Let my passion for life be restored,
tasting joy in every breakthrough you bring to me.
Hold me close to you with a willing spirit
that obeys whatever you say.
Then I can show other guilty ones
how loving and merciful you are.
They will find their way back home to you,
knowing that you will forgive them.
O God, my saving God,
deliver me fully from every sin,
even the sin that brought bloodguilt.
Then my heart will once again be thrilled to sing
the passionate songs of joy and deliverance!
Lord God, unlock my heart, unlock my lips,
and I will overcome with my joyous praise!
For the source of your pleasure is not in my performance
or the sacrifices I might offer to you.
The fountain of your pleasure is found
in the sacrifice of my shattered heart before you.
You will not despise my tenderness
as I bow down humbly at your feet.
Because you favor Zion, do what is good for her.
Be the protecting wall around Jerusalem.
Pause. Go over it again if required. When you feel you would like to move on, read Psalm 51 in the NLT version given below.
Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
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.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
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 from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
and they will return to you.
Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
Unseal my lips, O Lord,
that my mouth may praise you.
You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Look with favor on Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.
And when we are fully restored,
you will rejoice and take delight
in every offering of our lives
as we bring our sacrifices of righteousness before you in love!
If you wish to soak in this psalm, listen to or watch this video.
Here is Psalm 51 in the NKJV version.
Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just [a]when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones 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 steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.
Keep in mind that our Heavenly Father accepts us no matter what. His love is beyond measure. His forgiveness washes us and drenches us. His warmth makes us feel good, comfortable, and fresh. It is like a mother wiping her baby with love and affection after bathing the little one and making the child totally clean.