8 Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Sin breaks relationships and ultimately spoils life. Today’s reading contains both of these thoughts. It is bracketed by the two statements give me back my joy again; …. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and at the centre is the urgent request Do not banish me from your presence. Here are the two things we value as followers of Jesus: experiencing the presence of God in our lives and appreciating the joy he brings to us.
What are you expecting of life today? A friendly visit would be welcomed, an unexpected rebate from the Taxman perhaps, or even renewed contact with an old friend. How about praying today for a fresh experience of God’s presence and the joy that would bring? This will be all the more important if sin has in some way broken up part of your life and you long for a fresh start with God.
Let these verses form the basis of your prayers today if you are in any way feeling distant from God and aware of wrong things in your life.