Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God of unfailing love
O God of great compassion
Blot out my troublesome doubts and despair
Wash away all my dark thoughts
Cleanse my selfish feelings
For I know my worst tendencies
They are always before me
They lead me away from Your peace and light
Into turmoil and darkness
I begin to doubt and fear Your righteousness, Your judgment
It becomes easier to believe that You don’t exist
That You are a creation of human beings
I am not alone in this, surely
It seems to be pretty common among all people
This turning from You
Yet You remain
From before I was, from when I first was
Through my life and past it
The psalmist says that You taught us wisdom
In the secret place of the womb
Maybe, but I forget it too easily
In the public places of my life
So I’m back, again, asking for Your compassion
Wash away my mind’s dark stains
Let my thoughts turn to rejoicing, to joy, to gladness
Help me to turn away, as You turn away, from darkness and selfishness
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me
Don’t desert me; don’t let me forget that I need You
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
Turn my self-centered pride into a God-centered willing spirit
That will sustain me
Then maybe, just maybe, I can remember You in my dark times
I can turn back to You when I feel low and unloved
When I feel defeated by my own negativity, hurt and anger
Deliver me from my crushing feelings of inadequacy and despair
O God, You are my Savior, my only hope
Let my mind and heart sing of Your righteousness
Then my words, my life will reflect Your goodness, will declare Your praise
You do not delight in my fears, my withdrawal from life
You take no pleasure in watching me undermine myself
I will draw away from doubt and despair, from selfishness and pride
I will come to You for peace and security, for love and hope
May it please You to draw me ever more into Your castle
Ever nearer to Your bright throne
Surrounded by Your great glowing cloud of witnesses
I can let Your light devour my darkness. Amen.

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