Psalm 25 (NRSV)
Verse 1To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Verse 2O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
Verse 3Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Verse 4Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
Verse 5Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
Verse 6Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
Verse 7Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness' sake, O Lord!
Verse 8Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
Verse 9He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
Verse 10All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
Verse 11For your name's sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Verse 12Who are they that fear the Lord? He will teach them the way that they should choose.
Verse 13They will abide in prosperity, and their children shall possess the land.
Verse 14The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes his covenant known to them.
Verse 15My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Verse 16Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
Verse 17Relieve the troubles of my heart, and bring me out of my distress.
Verse 18Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.
Verse 19Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Verse 20O guard my life, and deliver me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
Verse 21May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
Verse 22Redeem Israel, O God, out of all its troubles.
The psalmist here models an almost perfect prayer. Beginning with an address to the Lord, the prayer expresses trust in the nature of God. Then come the requests: “don’t let my enemies rejoice over my downfall; don’t let your people be put to shame; let me see your paths; lead me in truth; teach me.” Next comes the reason for such trust in God: because God is the source of their salvation. Finally come the words of repentance, and a request for mercy: “Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord.” (vs. 7)
We too can call on God in this way, trusting that God’s mercy doesn’t depend on our actions, but on God’s own nature. This psalm might be a good one to memorize and use daily as part of our prayer life.
According to your steadfast love, remember me, for your goodness’ sake. Amen.