“Create in me” – Psalm 51

Psalm 51 is one of the few psalms that gives us its specific context. This psalm is attributed to David and is said to have been written after he was confronted by the Nathan the prophet.

I encourage you to find a quite space for prayer where you can focus on the scripture, hear yourself, and connect to God. May Nan Merrill’s interpretation of Psalm 51 from her book Psalms for Praying breathe new life into you from this ancient wisdom.

Have mercy on me, O Gracious One, according to your steadfast love; According to your abundant kindness forgive me where my thoughts and deeds have hurt others.

Lead me in the paths of justice, guide my steps on paths of peace!

Teach me, that I may know my weaknesses, the shortcoming that bind me, the unloving ways that separate me, that keep me from recognizing your Life in me; for I keep company with fear, and dwell in the house of ignorance.

Yet, I was brought forth in love, and love is my birthright.

You have placed your truth in the inner being; therefore, teach me the wisdom of the heart.

Forgive all that binds me in fear that I might radiate love; cleanse me that your light might shine in me.

Fill me with gladness; help me to transform weakness into strength. Look not on my past mistakes but on the aspirations of my heart.

Create in me a clean heart, O Gracious One, and put a new and right spirit within me.

Enfold me in the arms of Love, and fill me with your Holy Spirit.

Restore in me the joy of your saving grace and encourage me with a new spirit.

Gracious One, open my lips and my mouth shall sing forth your praise. For You do not want sacrifice; You delight in our friendship with You.

Blessed and Compassionate Friend, melt our hearts of stone, break through the fears that lead us into darkness, and Guide our steps toward the way of peace.