One of the things that is super clear in Psalm 51 is the author’s understanding of what God can do. But don’t let it slip our attention that the psalmist also teaches us what he is willing to do: ask. He asks God for what he needs and desires. How can he do this without self-awareness? Why would he ask for a nice, hot bath unless he understood his need for one? Here’s a long passage in Psalm 51:7-15 that I ask you to consider using as an invitation to do both your own inventory AND your very specific ask of God…
Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I’ll let loose with your praise.
Your turn! What do you want to confess? Desire to ask?