“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!”
“For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight…”
Psalm 51:1-4 (ESV)
This is a Psalm written by King David after the prophet Nathan had confronted him about his affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. This is the same type of prayer I prayed after my wife confronted me about my porn, compulsive masturbation, and phone sex addiction, obviously not in this style of language but with the same style of content. A prayer filled with guilt, and shame, a prayer of confession and a prayer seeking forgiveness.
I didn’t have a relationship with God before my addiction came out. I wasn’t raised in the church, never read the bible, and didn’t know anything about the Gospel but I instantly knew once I was found out that God was the only one who could forgive me. I ran to God with open arms not seeking the “crutch” of religion but seeking the love of the Father. But when it comes to the church or God being referred to as a “crutch” when I think about it yeah, I needed a “crutch” because I couldn’t walk on my own. I needed help and God was the only one who could help me.
I am coming up on my six year anniversary of being in recovery for my lust/porn addiction and I realize today more than ever that I need to pray this prayer, a sinner’s payer, more today then when I first prayed it due to the fact that I am more aware of my depravity then I was back then. I am a sinner and I fail on a constant basis. I fall short of God’s standards daily and I so desperately need His forgiveness. The problem is that my guilt and shame get in the way and deceive me into believing that I can’t be forgiven, that God is sick of me and my failures. But like Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I can put my hope, faith, and trust in the fact that I can be forgiven and not condemned.
“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.”
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.”
Psalm 51:7-12 (NLT)
I find hope in the above verses. I can be purified, washed clean, and have my joy restored. If anything I’ve wanted more in my recovery process is a clean heart and a renewed spirit and I know God is the only one who can make that happen. He is the only one who can remove the stain of my guilt and set me free from the bondage of my sins.
It’s because of the irresistible grace of God that I was first drawn to Him and it’s this same grace that will keep me seeking Him everyday of my life.