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(A)A Prayer for Forgiveness[a]

51 Be merciful to me, O God,
    because of your constant love.
Because of your great mercy
    wipe away my sins!
Wash away all my evil
    and make me clean from my sin!

I recognize my faults;
    I am always conscious of my sins.
(B)I have sinned against you—only against you—
    and done what you consider evil.
So you are right in judging me;
    you are justified in condemning me.
I have been evil from the day I was born;
    from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful.

Sincerity and truth are what you require;
    fill my mind with your wisdom.
Remove my sin, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
    and though you have crushed me and broken me,
    I will be happy once again.
Close your eyes to my sins
    and wipe out all my evil.

10 Create a pure heart in me, O God,
    and put a new and loyal spirit in me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence;
    do not take your holy spirit away from me.
12 Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach sinners your commands,
    and they will turn back to you.

14 Spare my life, O God, and save me,[b]
    and I will gladly proclaim your righteousness.
15 Help me to speak, Lord,
    and I will praise you.

16 You do not want sacrifices,
    or I would offer them;
you are not pleased with burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God;
    you will not reject a humble and repentant heart.

18 O God, be kind to Zion and help her;
    rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifices
    and with our burnt offerings;
    and bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 51:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by David, after the prophet Nathan had spoken to him about his adultery with Bathsheba.
  2. Psalm 51:14 Spare my life … me; or O God my savior, keep me from the crime of murder.