King David was intimately confident that God would hear his prayers. No matter what—even if David had sinned.
The prophet Nathan confronted David after David had committed adultery with another man’s wife, gotten her pregnant, and then had her husband killed to try to cover up their affair. David assumed he had gotten away with it, but God sent Nathan to tell David that He knew all about it.
His prayer is instructive for us when we sin too. David’s appeal to God for forgiveness is based solely on God’s ability and willingness to forgive, not on any merits David brings.
In this prayer, David presents a tally sheet. On his side of the ledger, he lists my transgressions, my iniquity, my sin, my bloodguilt. He sums it up with, “Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight.”
David also tallies up God’s side of the ledger: You are right, You are just, You are righteous.
We might be tricked into thinking that a Perfect Being like this wants nothing to do with a sinful creature like you and me. But this is completely wrong! David appeals to God’s unfailing love, and Your great compassion. He lists God’s desire to cleanse, wash, blot out sins, restore, and release from blood-guiltiness.
David said, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And immediately Nathan responded, “The Lord has taken away your sin.”
Sin is all on me! Restoration is all on God!
With this in mind, we learn that the mark of a maturing Christian is not one who never sins, but one who…
- …feels a broken heart because of their sin (see Psalm 51:10)
- …confesses my sin
- …confidently asks for His forgiveness
- …helps others who have sinned (v. 13)
- …continues to abide in Jesus (vv. 10-12)
God is quick to forgive. Are we equally as quick to ask for His forgiveness?
You can study more of the lessons from the prayers of David: