(For the music leader. A psalm by David when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had been with Bathsheba.)
A Prayer for Forgiveness
1 You are kind, God!
Please have pity on me.
You are always merciful!
Please wipe away my sins.
2 Wash me clean from all
of my sin and guilt.
3 I know about my sins,
and I cannot forget
the burden of my guilt.
4 You are really the one
I have sinned against;
I have disobeyed you
and have done wrong.
So it is right and fair for you
to correct and punish me.

5 I have sinned and done wrong
since the day I was born.
6 But you want complete honesty,
so teach me true wisdom.
7 Wash me with hyssop
until I am clean
and whiter than snow.
8 Let me be happy and joyful!
You crushed my bones,
now let them celebrate.
9 Turn your eyes from my sin
and cover my guilt.
10 Create pure thoughts in me
and make me faithful again.
11 Don't chase me away from you
or take your Holy Spirit
away from me.

12 Make me as happy as you did
when you saved me;
make me want to obey!
13 I will teach sinners your Law,
and they will return to you.
14 Keep me from any deadly sin.
Only you can save me!
Then I will shout and sing
about your power to save.

15 Help me to speak,
and I will praise you, Lord.
16 Offerings and sacrifices
are not what you want.
17 The way to please you
is to be truly sorry
deep in our hearts.
This is the kind of sacrifice
you won't refuse.

18 Please be willing, Lord,
to help the city of Zion
and to rebuild its walls.
19 Then you will be pleased
with the proper sacrifices,
and we will offer bulls
on your altar once again.