Prayer Guide: Psalm 51

Psalm 51 (ESV)

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
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.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
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.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


God’s Praiseworthy Attributes:

  • Merciful (1)
  • Steadfast Love (1)
  • Cleanses us from sin (1, 2,7)
  • Blameless in his judgment (4)
  • Creates a clean heart in us (10)
  • Shows grace (10, 11, 12)
  • Joy giver (12)
  • Praiseworthy (15)

Possible Prayer Prompts: (1-2)

  • I praise you for your mercy to me in…
  • Thank you for cleansing me from my sin…
  • I praise you for forgiving me when…


Verses 3-6

  • Show me my hidden sin…
  • Reveal my transgressions before you…
  • Help me to be truthful about what I keep in secret…


Verses 7-12

  • Cleanse me from ____ and make me white as snow
  • Let me hear joy and gladness again when…
  • Blot out my iniquity of…
  • Create a clean heart in me when…
  • Renew a right spirit within me toward…


Verses 13-19

  • Help me teach your ways to…
  • Help me declare your praise when…
  • Give me a contrite heart toward…