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Praying through the ashes

A Bible prayer for Ash Wednesday to begin the church season of Lent

Psalm 51:1-10

Be merciful to me, O God!

In the greatness of Your mercy,
wipe out my sins
and wipe away the stains.

I’m aware of my faults,
and my rebellions against You
haunts me!

Against You – and You alone
have I sinned.

I’ve done wrong by You!
So You’d be right to judge me.
And You have every right
to condemn me.

I’ve gotten myself into trouble
since birth. I’ve been inclined
to be selfish
ever since my conception!

But You want me to get real.

You desire me to look inward –
with sincerity and truth –
and find Your wisdom
waiting for me there.

Purge my sins,
and I will be clean.
Cleanse me,
and I will be
as fresh as new snow.

Help me to hear
the sounds of joy and gladness.

Help me to be aware
that my brokenness is healed.

Hide my sins from Your face,
and blot out all ill will in me.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew
Your Spirit within me.



© 2015, Mary Harwell Sayler prayer-a-phrased today’s reading in Psa…