Psalm 51 by Nan C. Merrill

Have mercy on me. O Gracious One, according to your steadfast love.
According to Your abundant kindness, forgive me where my thoughts and deeds have hurt others.
Lead me in the paths of justice, guide my steps on the paths of peace!
Teach me, that I may know my weaknesses, the shortcomings that bind me,
the unloving ways that separate me,
that keep me from recognizing Your life in me.
For, I keep company with fear, and dwell in the house of ignorance.
Yet, I was brought forth in love, and love is my birthright.
You have placed Your Truth in my inner being;
Therefore, teach me the wisdom of the heart.
Forgive all that binds me in fear, that I might radiate love;
cleanse me that Your Light might shine in me.
Fill me with gladness; help me to transform weakness into strength.
Look not on my past mistakes but on the aspirations of my heart.
Create in me a clean heart, O Gracious One,
And put a new and right spirit in me.
Enfold me in the arms of Love, and fill me with the Holy Spirit.
Restore in me the joy of Your saving grace,
and encourage me with a new spirit.
Then I will teach other Your ways and prisoners of fear will return to You.
Deliver me from the addictions of society, most Gracious One.
O keep me from temptations that I may tell of Your justice and mercy.
O Gracious One, open my lips and my mouth shall sing forth Your praise.
For You do not want sacrifice. You delight in our friendship with You.
A sacrifice most appropriate is a humble spirit, a repentant and contrite heart, O Merciful One, is the gift You most desire.
Let the nations turn from war, and encourage one another as good neighbors.
O Most Gracious and Compassionate Friend, melt our hearts of stone,
Break through the fears that lead us into darkness, and
Guide our steps into the way of peace.

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