Psalm 51

1 Have mercy on me, O God,

    according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

    blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

    and cleanse me from my sin!

3 For I know my transgressions,

    and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned

    and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you may be justified in your words

    and blameless in your judgment.

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

    and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,

    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins,

    and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,

    and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from your presence,

    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

    and sinners will return to you.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,

    O God of my salvation,

    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.

15 O Lord, open my lips,

    and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;

    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;

    build up the walls of Jerusalem;

19 then will you delight in right sacrifices,

    in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;

    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Reflection Questions

1. What does David (the writer of this Psalm) ask God for in the first verse?

2. What does a clean heart and a right spirit prepare us to do according to verse 13?


As we begin a new year, many of us make resolutions to change and be different. To be more diligent about exercising, eating right, having our daily devotions, being on time, and a million other promises we make to ourselves. Yet, so many times we fall short of those goals. So I want to encourage you today on this first day of 2024 to take your goals and aspirations one day at a time. Today, I will make good choices, eat right, exercise, do my daily devotion (hey, look at you already completing a goal!), etc. Ask God, like David does here in this Psalm, to create in you a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within you. This is what will help you reach your goals- a heart aligned with God’s will for your life. I encourage you to pray this prayer to God daily and then see how a heart aligned with God changes you for the better and helps you reach your goals.