Heavenly Father, thank you for a new day in which to love and serve you. Thank you that we can come boldly before you in prayer, knowing that you will always hear and answer according to your good and gracious will. Amen Psalm 51:5-12 (NIV)
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
This passage is a portion of the psalm that David wrote when the prophet Nathan came to challenge him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and then sinned greatly in trying to cover up his initial act. (You can read the story in 2 Samuel, chapters 11 and 12)
If you have a background in a liturgical church, you will immediately recognize verses 10-12 as the words of the offertory, a hymn sung or chanted between the sermon and the prayers prior to the consecration and distribution of the Lords Supper.
The offertory has always had great meaning for me. When I was convicted in a sermon about how far short of God’s expectation I had fallen and how overwhelmingly God loved me in my broken and repentant state, the words of this prayer, like David, became my plea to God.
When we transgress against the will of our heavenly Father, it is comforting to know that as His beloved children, we can come boldly before Him imploring that we not be cast us from His presence or have the Holy Spirit taken from us. Instead, we are bold to pray that God put a new heart in us, renew our spirits, restore the joy of our salvation (isn’t it interesting that when we sin we do not lose our salvation but the joy of our salvation) and grant us a willing obedient spirit.
I have learned through time, that this prayer of David is one that God delights to hear and always answers.
Lord, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit for your willingness to renew our spirit, restore our joy and grant us a willing spirit obedient to you. Amen.