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Psalm 51 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

A Prayer for Forgiveness

For the director of music. A song of David when the prophet Nathan came to David after David’s sin with Bathsheba.

51 God, be merciful to me
    because you are loving.
Because you are always ready to be merciful,
    wipe out all my wrongs.
Wash away all my guilt
    and make me clean again.

I know about my wrongs.
    I can’t forget my sin.
You are the one I have sinned against.
    I have done what you say is wrong.
So you are right when you speak.
    You are fair when you judge me.
I was brought into this world in sin.
    In sin my mother gave birth to me.

You want me to be completely truthful.
    So teach me wisdom.
Take away my sin, and I will be clean.
    Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Make me hear sounds of joy and gladness.
    Let the bones you crushed be happy again.
Turn your face from my sins.
    Wipe out all my guilt.

10 Create in me a pure heart, God.
    Make my spirit right again.
11 Do not send me away from you.
    Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me.
12 Give me back the joy that comes when you save me.
    Keep me strong by giving me a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach your ways to those who do wrong.
    And sinners will turn back to you.

14 God, save me from the guilt of murder.
    God, you are the one who saves me.
    I will sing about your goodness.
15 Lord, let me speak
    so I may praise you.
16 You are not pleased by sacrifices.
    Otherwise, I would give them.
    You don’t want burnt offerings.
17 The sacrifice God wants is a willing spirit.
    God, you will not reject
    a heart that is broken and sorry for its sin.

18 Do whatever good you wish for Jerusalem.
    Rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with right sacrifices and whole burnt offerings.
    And bulls will be offered on your altar.

International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

Psalm 51 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 51[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.


  1. Psalm 51:1 In Hebrew texts 51:1-19 is numbered 51:3-21.
  2. Psalm 51:17 Or The sacrifices of God are
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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