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?