Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and uphold me with Thy free spirit.
~ Psalm 51:10-12
Any good church-going Missouri Synod Lutheran recognizes those verses as the offertory in the Sunday liturgy.
Beyond being a preface for passing the envelope plate, they also are among the top returns in a Google search for “prayer of renewal.”
A quick look in my study Bible describes Psalm 51 as “a lament, the most famous of the seven Penitential Psalms, [a prayer] for the removal of the personal and social disorders that sin has brought.”
I think it came to mind today because I was cleaning my clothes closet, an indication of my own disorder. The closet is not yet good enough to show off in a stellar After picture, as is my wont, but it’s better. The overflowing closet itself is a symbol of abundance and the blessings I’ve been bestowed; the process of organizing it, a symbol of renewal.
My study Bible goes on to say of Psalm 51, “[Verses 11-19] seek something more profound than wiping the slate clean; nearness to God, living by the spirit of God.”
It’s rather nice to think of a common household task like cleaning one’s closets as bringing one closer to God.