Devotional Psalm 51: Creating a Clean Heart

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 alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.

5 Indeed I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.

6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my 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 crushed rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

14   Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

15   O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

16   For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.

17. The  sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,

19 then you will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.


Creating a clean heart begins with honesty, both with oneself and with others. It requires “truth in the inward being.”

It begins with an examination of where we spend most of our thoughts, when we aren’t thinking about anything.

It takes courage and strength of character to confess where pain has been inflicted and where pain is experienced.

Creating a clean heart requires a letting go, a purging of whatever keeps us from being at peace with ourselves, those we love, and those we judge.

O Lord Hear My Prayer:

Dear God,
Help me to be honest with myself and with others. Create in me a clean heart  with those with whom I share my home, those I meet in my daily life and those who wish to do me harm. Help me to be grateful for the way things are and to accept the way things are not. Give me the presence of mind to embrace today and this moment in time for all of its joy and wonderment. Give me the courage to change what I can change and the grace to accept what cannot be changed. Fill the places of loneliness, greed, fear and worry with your smile, your touch, your laughter, and your tender mercy.   With a willing spirit, I will be restored in the joy of your salvation. Amen.

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