3 Prayers for a clean heart

 

Psalm 51 is a classic prayer of confession.

Here are 3 prayers inspired by Psalm 51:10: “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me”. I’ve also included a link to Keith Green’s song, Create in me a clean heart, also a classic in my view.


#1

Merciful God,
have mercy on our souls,
according to your unwavering love;
according to your abundant mercy
wipe away our sins and the guilt we have carried for so long.

Instead write on our hearts your love,
your boundaries for our lives,
your salvation that sets us free from our sins
to live the abundant life you have for each of us.

Lord we would see Jesus;
we would love Jesus;
we would follow Jesus;
we would serve Jesus.

Lord,
create in us clean hearts;
renew your spirit within us.
Do not turn us away from your presence,
do not take your Holy Spirit from us.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in us a willing spirit.
Write on our hearts, your love O God,
Amen.

~ written by Rev. Abi, posted on re:worship
 


#2

God of our Hearts,
not of our outer garments,
nor our church structures,
nor our programs and human plans,
you are the only one who can make us pure.
You are the only one who can wash us clean of all our sin and guilt.
You alone can save us from the terrible Day of the Lord.
You are the merciful and just God.
If we turn, we see you.
Help us to turn, O God of all hearts,
and find you here with us:
Emmanuel – the Christ-heart within us all.
We light our fires for you, to reflect your shining.

~ from Heart of the Matter: Service for Ash Wednesday, written by Rev. Marilyn K. Levine. Posted on the United Church of Christ website
 


#3 / a blessing

May God create in you a clean heart,
a transformed heart,
a heart that knows and seeks and loves
the justice and mercy of the Lord.
May you accept the gift of salvation –
not your personal possession to be coveted,
but His work, accomplished in the destruction of sin
on the cross of Jesus Christ.
And may you humble yourself before the Lord,
coming before Him with a broken spirit,
a contrite heart,
receiving from His hand
great compassion
and unfailing love.

~ posted on Jeff’s Blog
 


 

Go. Speak. Love. Forgive. Receive.


Bird hovering over Wilhelminapier, Rotterdam (Photo: Ina de Visser)

Call to Worship

(inspired by Jonah 3-4)

The word of God came to Jonah.
The word of God comes to us.

Go
despite your fears.

Speak
the truth of God.

Love
your neighbour and your enemy.

Forgive
as you have been forgiven.

Receive
grace upon grace
overflowing from the fullness of God.

 
~ written by Joanna Harader and posted on Spacious Faith.
 


 
From the blog
Theme: Ever sustaining   [prayer sheet]
A very present help in trouble
A prayer to the God of summer
 

Path to forgiveness and healing


Print of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son at retreat centre, De Spil

 

if my people,
who are called by my name,
will humble themselves
and pray
and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin
and will heal their land.

 


 
From the blog
Healing at a cost
Healed from the inside out
Theme: He heals the brokenhearted  [prayer sheet]
 

In the school of prayer with Terry Hinks

 

Here are some extracts on the topic of prayer by Terry Hinks from his introduction to Luke’s Gospel in God’s Embrace: Praying with Luke.

 
 
I’ve also included the prayer inspired by his reflections on the disciples’ request in Luke 11:1, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’.
 


I

Prayer as struggle – “It is likely that as we ‘progress in the spiritual life’, or rather think that we do, we again and again need to become beginners asking ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ …  Again and again we will need to ask the Spirit to stir us from complacency (or despair) and to return us to that persistent determined prayer that Jesus describes in his parables (Luke 11:5-13, Luke 18:1-8), that alertness and strength required for the kingdom life (Luke 21:34-6).”   (p. 25)

II

Prayer as celebration – “Prayer will involve struggle, repentance and lament and will require courage, persistence and humility, but it cannot rest within this sphere alone. It must open out into joyful praise of the one who has done great things, is doing great things here and now and will do great things in the time to come.”   (p. 31)

III

God’s embrace – “We have been trained to analyse, organise, dissect, manipulate and control the reality that we see around us. Yet these tools that are so useful in many areas of life (from scientific research to cake baking) serve us poorly in our relationships with other people, let alone to the divine mystery that created us. Treating everything as an object degrades life. If prayer is the attempt to manipulate and control an object – getting God to do what we want – it will fail. If prayer is a relationship then all kinds of possibilities develop. The aim ceases to be getting God to do something for us; the aim becomes conversation and embrace.”   (p. 35)

IV

A pattern of prayer – “The constant pressure on us is to go for a quick fix in prayer and to fail to recognise the patience and persistence required to wait on God and to listen. Quietening our minds and stilling our bodies is an important part of preparing to pray – that going into your own room and shutting the door that Jesus describes in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:6). But prayer is never simply down to us. It is not some anxiety-ridden striving after the Invisible, but a conversation with One who knows our needs and our hearts …  Prayer is a meeting of human boldness – the persistence to continue to speak to God whatever we may feel – and God’s grace – the patient loving kindness of God for us all, come what may.”   (p. 38-9)

 


A prayer

(inspired by Luke 11:1-4)

Lord, teach us to pray
with the whole of our being,
      bodies stilled and centred,
      minds focused on your way,
      hearts warmed by your grace.

Lord, teach us to pray
with the whole of your people,
      connecting to your followers
            of every time and place,
      connecting to your Church in all its varied faces,
      connecting to the world with all its joy and agony.

Lord, teach us to pray
in the power of your Spirit,
      as children of one dear God,
      as brothers and sisters in Christ
      as sinners forgiven and forgiving.

Lord, teach us to pray
      to you,
      in you,
      this moment,
      this life,
      this eternity.

 
~ by Terry Hinks,
from God’s Embrace: Praying with Luke, p. 91
 


From the blog
In the school of prayer with Angela Ashwin
In the school of prayer with the Celtic Saints
In the school of prayer with Eddie Askew