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A Psalm 51 Prayer

November 2, 2014

Psalm 51 Prayer

Sunday morning before church I was reading a few Psalms. I came upon Psalm 51 and noticed it was bare—that is, no colored pencil marks. I got a new Bible some months ago, and part of me wishes I could somehow transfer all the markings I made in my other Bibles. But I also love reading it “fresh” and marking words/phrases that may not have struck me before.

So I got out my pencils and marked what stood out. “Sin” seemed to be everywhere in the first few verses, along with “iniquity” and “transgressions.” Then I saw “cleanse,” “clean” (2x) and “whiter than snow” . . . and marked those.

But what struck me next were the imperatives.

Be gracious to me . . .

Wash me . . .

Cleanse me . . .

Purify me . . .

I made a list and was moved by the beauty of the prayer—and the ever-present need for the prayer. King David wrote this psalm in godly sorrow over his affair with Bathsheba. But these words extend beyond those circumstances. Always, I desire the Lord to be gracious to me, to sustain me, to deliver me (from worry, doubt, fear, or whatever might take hold), to renew and restore, and so on.

So, it was going to simply be a handy list in the margin of my Bible. Until I was moved to transfer it to a picture graphic . . . and then moved to share it on the blog. I love praying Scripture. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. There’s so much in just two words like, “Sustain me . . .” And oh, His sustaining power!

What words from the Psalm 51 prayer stand out to you?

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  • Reply Tamara Davis November 3, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Good morning! vs 10 is one that I learned to pray a couple of years ago when the Lord began to deal with me about pride. I was recently reminded of that same verse after being under attack with fear, which attempted to leave me bitter and non-responsive. I started praying that again because once again, my heart needed to be restored, cleansed and my spirit needed to be renewed.

    Sustain me…..oooh yes, that’s good!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate November 3, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Hey Tamara! Yes, I love that verse, and love that it applies to EVERYTHING. Our hearts are surely prone to creep toward pride, fear, and whatever else…in the blink of an eye it seems, if we’re not careful. I can see praying v. 10 daily. Praise God that you watch over your heart and pray when it needs to be renewed and restored. That’s awesome!

    • Reply Shan (MrsTrip98) November 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      I agree, Tamara! Verse 10 is one that I could pray every single morning!!

  • Reply LaRena November 3, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Hello Everyone,

    Such a great reading to start my day. I really need to get better with reading first thing in the morning. Thanks for helping me work towards that goal Kim.

    *”Against You”, You only, have I sinned (vs. 4)

    These two words stood out to me due to a situation I dealt with last week with someone that I know. I offended this individual by a joke I made that they took serious. As the week went on I noticed everytime I talked to this individual (who is a Christian) they continued to bring up my offense despite accepting my apology and saying they forgave me. By the end of the week I had to tell them they were making me feel like I was on trial and if God accepted my apology (as I had also repented to God), then who are they to say such harsh things to me.

    I know as a Christian I have to remember when I offend someone (I am FAR from perfect) to stand on God’s words. I cannot allow people to make me feel like my offenses are unforgivable. If a person does not accept my sincere apology, then all I can do is pray God works on their heart.

    God later revealed to me and it was confirmed when I shared this experience with close friends, that this person is struggling with insecurities which is why they are having a hard time truly forgiving me. My “joke” touched a sensitive place in them that I had no idea of. I pray they allow God to work on that sensitive place.

    • Reply Tamara Davis November 3, 2014 at 10:46 am

      LaRena, you did your part. Praying for them is the best thing to do for them at this point. Some people like to hold on to hurts and offense. Some simply don’t know how to let go while others choose to hold on because they feel “justified” in their hurts. (Ask me how I know…:o)

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate November 3, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      LaRena, I love how you handled this. When you found out the person was offended by your joke, you apologized and repented. What more could you do? Kudos to you for not allowing condemnation to set in. You even prayed for the individual as well, which showed compassion. We truly don’t know what people are dealing with when they react the way they do. Hopefully, peace will be restored between the two of you. Praise God for your maturity in Christ.

    • Reply Danielle November 4, 2014 at 8:16 am

      LaRena, I am with Kim….what a beautiful response, and one that takes courage! I admire you for going to that person and gently confronting them….shows wisdom! Blessings to you AND to that person who is nursing insecurities….that God grant them a spirit who sees themselves as He does.

  • Reply Katrina Foreman November 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Greetings, vs 10 has been a daily prayer because I have discovered my heart can be cold and harsh at times. I need God to grant me a pure heart daily because I am guaranteed to miss the mark. I must say as I make a conscious effort to be prayerful about the condition of my heart, I can feel Him moving.

    • Reply Tamara Davis November 3, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Amen!!! That’s beautiful Katrina!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate November 3, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Katrina, it’s so funny because I hadn’t seen your comment when I replied to Tamara above, saying I could see praying this DAILY. And you already do! Praise God! I’m reminded of Jeremiah 17:9…”The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick.” We all have heart-issues, and it’s a blessing that you’re willing to submit your heart daily to the Lord so He can purify it. That is awesome! And I’m not surprised at all that you see Him moving. That’s a prayer He will answer! Thanks so much or sharing that beautiful testimony.

  • Reply Shan (MrsTrip98) November 3, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    9 “Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.”

    This is something that Christ has done over, and over, and over, and over for me. I ask for forgiveness of both sins of commission and omission, and He throws them all into the Sea of Forgetfulness. The limitless depth of his love that rests in that “sea” encapsulates the gross multitude of my sin. Ten thousand tongues to say “Thank you” to the Savior would still be insufficient.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate November 3, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      Shan…first, I did a double-take because you’re using your name! :) (Love it.) And all I can say is AMEN!! I think about it often, how the Lord so willingly forgives. We never reach our limit. We repent with a sincere heart, and the Lord casts it away in that Sea of Forgetfulness. I don’t even fully comprehend the blessing that that is. It’s so HUGE. Adding my tongue to the ten thousand!

      • Reply Tamara Davis November 4, 2014 at 7:43 am

        I just noticed that too! (She’s using her name) LOL

        What a beautiful reminder of that sea and how big it is!

        • Reply Shan (MrsTrip98) November 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm

          Yes, Tamara–The love from sisters in this space compelled me to remove the mask of the assumed “alias.” Thank you for being an encouraging part of this beautiful community :-)

          • Tamara Davis November 6, 2014 at 9:16 am

            It is indeed a blessing to be able to share my life here in this space and encourage others :)

      • Reply Shan (MrsTrip98) November 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm

        No longer incognito…lol! Your beautiful post reminded me that a prayer need not be long. Two or three words prayed from the heart will gain Christ’s attention. Thanks for that, Kim :-)

    • Reply Danielle November 4, 2014 at 8:21 am

      Oooh, Shan (love that name!) verse 9 is a good one! It stuck out to me, too….that and verse 17. I am SO thankful for the immeasurable depth of God’s forgiveness.

      • Reply Shan (MrsTrip98) November 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm

        Me too, Danielle! Sometimes I must take a deep breath in my feeble attempt to comprehend it.

  • Reply Danielle November 4, 2014 at 8:23 am

    I am struggling right now with a lot of guilt about how I was (things I said, didn’t say, shouldn’t have done, didn’t do) with my little girl while she was here, and the enemy likes to prick my heart with these thoughts and memories when I am low. I have to remind myself ALL the time that God has wiped it all clean, and that’s why verses 14-17 are what stick out to me at this season of my life. I love this Psalm, although it has been one of those that I say at church or repeat without really thinking about its AWESOME depth! Thank you, Kim, for helping us to pause and really let the magnitude and beauty of this psalm sink in. What a mighty, loving, and amazing God we serve!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate November 4, 2014 at 8:54 am

      Danielle, I prayed as soon as I read this because it makes me so angry (I’m sorry, it does) that the enemy would try to heap guilt on you on top of the immense hurt and pain you endure. What?!? And of course those thoughts come during times when you are low, when you don’t feel you have strength to stand against them. May the Lord guard your heart and mind against the enemy’s schemes. I pray He shows Himself strong as your strength, your rock, your fortress, your refuge, your shield, your stronghold, and your deliverer (Psalm 18). The enemy wants to destroy you. But praise God that He is WITH YOU, He loves you, you are HIS…and no weapon formed against you will prosper. Danielle, from Psalm 51, I’m praying that the Lord will make you to hear joy and gladness…to the full. I love you, dear sister, and will continue to seek that mighty, loving, amazing God on your behalf.

      • Reply Danielle November 4, 2014 at 9:17 am

        Oh, dear Kim, THANK YOU. I am sitting here in a work meeting right now, reading this, and trying not to let the tears fall in front of everyone! :) I am grateful for your anger – yes, it comes a lot when I think about how I yelled, lost my temper, etc. etc. even THAT DAY when precious Adanya was preparing to go Home, and I don’t have a chance to make it right. She had such a forgiving heart, and would always say “It’s o-tay, Mama. You told God and me you are sowwy.” but my Mama’s Heart still breaks when I think about how I would have/should have done things differently. It is a struggle many times these days – God has done MIGHTY things in my heart this past few months, and I know He will walk with me through this, too….for now, I just am hiding out in the shelter of His wings until I can walk out on my own. Bless you for seeking him on my behalf while I am overwhelmed. I love you.

        • Reply Kim Cash Tate November 4, 2014 at 9:41 am

          “…hiding out in the shelter of His wings…” There is NO better place. I can’t even express how much I love that imagery of hiding in the shelter of His wings. Our fierce, protective God SHIELDS us and LOVES on us there. He knows how much you loved your precious Adanya and cared for her. And what a blessing that you even have memories of Adanya forgiving you (what a sweet, sweet girl…). Those memories are God’s gift to you. You can call upon HIS words about being forgiven AND her own sweet words. That’s so awesome. Please…PLEASE…when those thoughts come, refuse to entertain them and ask God for grace to cast them down. Adanya would not want your heart breaking over that, and you know the Lord doesn’t. Rejoice in the sweet memories. (((hugs)))

          • Tamara Davis November 6, 2014 at 9:20 am

            I agree with Kim, Danielle. As a person who is overcoming mental attacks, it is imperative that you not “live” there. The enemy wants to keep you trapped in that guilt so that you miss out on all the newness and good things He’s doing for you. And truthfully, you have NOTHING to feel guilty about.

        • Reply Shan (MrsTrip98) November 4, 2014 at 5:36 pm


          I am fighting back the tears with you.

          Sometimes I think of what, when, and how I should have done things for my son (who is now 21 but thinks he is every bit of 40). I think that hindsight is 20/20 and that had I done things differently, he and life would have been so much better. That thought weighed heavily on me until one of my Christian colleagues told me that as long as my child understood that my loving heart was there for him, that love would supersede my mistakes. Then I thought about it. Love is a powerful force. After all, God is love.

          From Adanya’s words, she did indeed understand your mothering and loving heart. Hugs to you, sis…

          • Heather Adams November 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm

            I love this reminder that love supersedes mistakes…

      • Reply Shan (MrsTrip98) November 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm

        …in Jesus’ name. Amen.

      • Reply Shan (MrsTrip98) November 4, 2014 at 5:24 pm

        Praying this prayer with you Kim!

  • Reply Courtenay Kantanka November 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    I recently returned to using a bible that I had marked up. I stopped using it because the covers and the first few chapters of Genesis are missing, but I returned to it because lately I’ve been missing a certain intimacy with God and this bible reminds me that our journey together has been a long one and He is not finished with me. The old notes encourage me.

    That being said, what strikes me about your blog post is again the intimacy of Psalm 51 and those imperatives that you mention. Wash me…cleanse me…purify me reminds me of Matthew 6 where Jesus tells us to invite God, our Father, into our secret places knowing that He knows what we need before we ask Him. I just read this again yesterday and so it is fresh on my heart. It has renewed my prayer life. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate November 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      So glad to see you, Courtenay! I know just what you mean. I keep my “old” Bible near because I love seeing the old markings and notes…and those old markings and notes help me find things! :) I love that your Bible reminds you of your journey with God, and that He’s not finished with you. Amen! It’s encouraging to look back and see how far God has brought us, and what He’s brought us through. Those old Bibles have seen much!

      “He knows what we need before we ask Him”…yes! That made me think of David’s own situation before he wrote this psalm. God had to send Nathan the prophet to him, to convict him of his sin…because the Lord knew David’s heart needed to be cleansed. It’s amazing to think about… He knows our needs AND supplies our needs. Such an awesome God. Thank *you* for sharing!

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