How Should I Pray After I’ve Sinned? | Prayer on Psalm 51
I’m comforted by the fact that the Holy Spirit inspired prayers in the Bible that help me express my need for God to forgive me of my sin. Where can I turn in the Bible in times of personal guilt, especially after I’ve so willfully sinned? Psalm 51 is one of those prayers. For 3,000 years it has perhaps been the most read and prayed psalm of all God’s people. Which shows us that sin and our desire for forgiveness is something we all have in common as our greatest need. Thankfully the Holy Spirit has met that desire and need! This episode will talk about some of the key verses in this psalm and lead you in a time of prayer for forgiveness and renewal.
Psalm 51:1–4 ESV
A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Luke 18:9–14 NIV
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
1 Timothy 1:15 NIV
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
Psalm 51:9–12 ESV
9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Psalm 51:17 ESV
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
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