November 17 – 35 Prayers in the Bible – David

Read Psalm 51:1-19

When brought face to face with our sin, our responses are interesting. We often find ways to do things like minimize our sin (“Ah, it isn’t anything to worry about!”), justify our sin (“The way he was treating me…I just couldn’t do anything different!”), or shift the blame for our sin (“That’s judgmental! Who are you to judge me?”). Any of those sound familiar?

David’s confession of sin in Psalm 51 shows us the right response. The occasion of the psalm is of particular interest here. David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. You can read about that in 2 Samuel 11. But, after the adultery, lies, and murder, Nathan exposed David’s sin.

How did David respond when confronted? Thankfully, he didn’t minimize it, justify it, or shift the blame about it.  Instead, he owned his sin! He made reference to it as “my iniquity,” “my sin,” and “my transgressions” (vv. 2, 3, 9). He acknowledged that he had committed his sin against God (v. 4).  But David also did what every sinner must do. He called upon the mercy, unfailing love, and compassion of God (v. 1) in order that he might experience cleansing, washing, purification, renewal and restoration (vv. 7, 10, 12).

God’s forgiveness, you see, is not granted on a “time heals all wounds” basis. It is not the result of mindlessly mouthing some words or even trying to “appease” God with some kind of personal sacrifice. No, forgiveness is granted on the basis of owning our sin in true repentance of a “broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart” (v. 17, 1 Jn. 1:9). Is there something in your life that you need to stop minimizing, justifying, or blaming others for?  Pause now and “own it!”

What happens when we own our sin? There is cleansing, washing, purification, renewal, and restoration! There is forgiveness. Though there may be temporary or lifelong consequences for the choices we have made, we, nonetheless, are brought back into right-standing with God. Although he was broken, David was able to look beyond his situation in anticipation of the day when things like joy, gladness, and rejoicing would once again characterize his life (v. 8).

The Bible is filled with the names of countless people like us. They are people who sinned.  But because they owned their sin, they received forgiveness from God and went on to serve Him. Our story will be no different if we make sincere confession a necessary part of our prayer life!

Steve Kern

7 Day Family Prayer Challenge


Read Joshua 24:15. Imagine what your homes, our church, and even the world could look like if we chose to be families that were on mission. Think about how different life would be if we intentionally chose to live life and love others the way that God designed us to. Are you willing to commit to raising a household that is devoted to serving the Lord? If so, ask God to stir in your heart the passion and devotion to lead your family to be on mission for the gospel starting TODAY!

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