Praying Psalm 51 With Children
By Kim Butts
God called David, "a man after My own heart." Yet, his sin was great before the Lord. David’s example to us, is one of humility. He came before the Lord to ask for forgiveness and to receive God’s grace to begin again. His deep desire to change and turn away from his sin is an example to us.
When children sin, they must be taught to quickly come before the Lord in repentance so that their lives are not sidelined by the enemy. Let’s pray through a portion of Psalm 51 to understand the process that our Heavenly Father desires us to go through to be cleansed from sin and to be humble in spirit:
Verse 1: "Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions." Father, we recognize the sinfulness of our lives. Your Word says that if we will confess our sins before You, that You will forgive us in Your mercy. Because Jesus died in our place, as the ultimate sacrifice, this promise is true and You are always faithful to it! Thank You, Lord, for Your compassionate heart, and Your unfailing love toward us!
Verse 2: "Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." Thank You, Gracious King, that You will wipe our records clean, so we can start again.
Verse 3: "For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me." Father, we confess our sins to You now. Help us to remember that what we have done makes You sad and grieves the Holy Spirit. Give us the strength to keep from these sins in the future!
Verse 4: "Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are proved right when You speak and justified when You judge." Lord, we have sinned against You. We are so sorry, and we want to repent of our sins right now!
Verse 5: "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." We know that we are born with sinful natures, and that only through the saving grace of Jesus Christ can we be saved from death, and receive forgiveness.
Verse 6: "Surely You desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place." Heavenly Lord, give us wisdom and place Your truth in the deepest part of our beings so that we are very clear about what is right and wrong in Your sight.
Verse 7: "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Lord, we know that You can wipe away the dirtiest sins and make us fresh and new again. Cleanse us, Father. We want to be whiter than snow!
Verse 8: "Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones You have crushed rejoice." Fill us with joy because of Your forgiveness, Lord. We don’t have to be weighed down by our sin any longer. You have set us free!
Verse 9: "Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity." How wonderful are Your ways, dear God. You forgive our sins and then You do the most amazing thing of all. You choose to forget we did them! Your grace is so amazing!
Verse 10: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Father, make us holy as Jesus is holy. Help us to stand firm upon Your Word so that we will not fall into sin.
Verse 11: "Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me." Lord, we know that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. May Your Holy Spirit always be our teacher and guide, showing us the right path.
Verse 12: "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Awesome Lord, now that You have forgiven and forgotten our sins, will You help us to realize that we can forgive ourselves? Help us to remember this wonderful gift You have given because of Jesus so that we can keep going day by day.
Verse 13: "Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will turn back to You." Lord of the Harvest, give us hearts to reach the lost, and to speak to those who have turned their backs on You. Give us the right words to share our testimonies with others, that they might see that what You have done in our lives You will do in theirs!
Verse 14: "Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of Your righteousness." Because You have saved us, O God, we will share Your great love with others!
Verse 15: "O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise." Almighty Father, give us boldness to proclaim what You have done, and to offer praises to Your powerful name!
Verse 16: "You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings." Lord, we know that because of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, You do not require any physical kind of sacrifice. Our obedience and submission is what You desire from us! Help us to make this our offering to You – our very selves.
Verse 17: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise." O Lord, may our hearts be humble before You so that You can mold us and shape us into the image of Your Son, Jesus. When troubles come, help us to trust in You. When we disobey You, may we quickly come to You in sincere repentance so that You can bring us closer to Yourself.