Have mercy on me, Father, according to Your loving kindness. According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions (they are so many that I lost count.) I am in need of a thorough washing from iniquity and a complete cleansing from my sin. Lord, I am confronted by the gravity of my misdeeds, and my sin continually stares me in the face. Against You, and You only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Your sight. Your holiness demands a righteous judgement, and no one can reasonably claim my sentence unjust. I plead guilty to every charge You lay against me, Lord, but I plead that You remember that I was born in iniquity – conceived in sin. My most base nature is contrary to Your desire for truth in the inward parts. But You have taught me wisdom in the depths of my heart – the conviction of conscience that cannot be shaken.
Father, say the word, and I will be free of the heavy weight of guilt hanging over my head. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow – free of the shame and filth that clothes me. Let Your love that shines forth within Your verdict bring joy and gladness to my soul, that the pain I suffer because of my punishment be overrun with rejoicing.
Father, You have searched me, and You know me – even better than I know myself. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You perceive my thoughts long before they are formed within me. You search out my path, even to where I lay my head to rest; there is no part of my life’s journey that is obscured from You. No word has reached my tongue that You didn’t already know about. You hem me in behind and before; and You have laid Your hand on me. You give me knowledge of things beyond me, lofty things that I cannot attain.
Is there a place that Your Spirit cannot reach? Is it possible for me to escape Your presence? If I were to ascend to heaven, that is Your throne and You would be there; but even if I were to make my bed in the depths of Sheol, I would not be beyond Your piercing gaze. If I take the wings of the dawn, and settle in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will hold me.
About 365 days since I last sat to write a “New Year’s Message,” And I can’t help but loosely echo the words of the Psalmist… In the 65th psalm, he says, “Praise waits for You, God, in Zion. Vows shall be performed to You. You who hear prayer, unto You shall all men come. Our sins did not overwhelm us, because You atoned for our transgressions. How blessed we are that You have chosen us and caused us to come near to You. How privileged we are to be able to live in Your courts. You have positioned us in Your secret place, And filled us with the goodness of Your treasuries. By awesome deeds of righteousness, You answered us and brought us salvation. You have shown Yourself to be the hope of all the earth, of those far and near. By Your power and strength You have brought great things into being, Stilled the roaring of the seas, its waves, and the turmoil of nations. Even those in the farthest reaches of the earth Have come to know and fear Your wonders. You have set songs of joy into our dawns and dusks. You have blessed the works of our hands and brought us increase; Indeed, You crown our year with Your bounty, And cause our storehouses to overflow with abundance. Everything in sight declares Your praise with joy.”