Scripture: 7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. 9 Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
[Psalm 51:7-12 NLT] It’s a familiar enough scene when you have a small child. The sun has set and things are winding down in the home. Dinner is over with and the dishes have all been done. Bath time has occurred, teeth have been brushed, and hair combed. Jammies are on and the lights are low. Child and parent are nestled in a small bed and a favorite story is read several times at the request of the child. The parent senses that the child is close to falling asleep and makes certain they are snug in the bed. The parent then turns out the light and attempts to leave the room. As the parent is leaving the room they hear the familiar words from their child, “Stay with me!” I will admit there were many nights where I was tired and still had things I needed to accomplish as I heard these words. They were words that were definitely inconvenient some nights to my schedule. There were many nights where I even thought, “Just fall asleep.” I am thankful for the advice of a good friend and colleague concerning these moments. He advised the following … observe the 15 more minutes rule. When your child asks you to stay or read the story again … stay. They will always remember your willingness to stay. They will always remember the extra time, conversation, and presence you gave. When the people important to you ask you to stay with them, stay. This is the essence of the Scripture for today. The psalmist is crying out to God to make him more like God. The writer wants to be purified of any unworthiness in his life. The psalmist desires for his sins to be removed from God’s sight. However, the psalmist wants also to be assured of God’s presence with him in the person of the Holy Spirit. The psalmist writes, “Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.” In other words, stay with me God. When I am uncertain and afraid … stay with me. When I am facing difficulty in my relationships … stay with me. When I am not sure if my finances will be enough … stay with me. When I feel lost and alone … stay with me. When I am feeling tempted and sinful … stay with me. When I am celebrating life and praising your name … stay with me. Today you may feel like the psalmist, needing to cry out for God’s forgiveness, mercy, and presence. If so, pray Psalm 51:7-12 as your continuous prayer today. Invite God to purify you, forgive you, and stay with you through every moment. You may be in a place of praise for all God has done for you. If so, pray Psalm 51:7-12 as your continuous prayer today. Thank God for the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in your life. Most of all may we all invite the Holy Spirit to stay with us to guide and direct our every thought, word, and deed today. As we invite God to stay with us, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory will be God’s. Prayer: Holy God, stay with us. Do not take your Holy Spirit from us. Help us to confess our sins to you and be purified. May our sins be removed from your sight. We desire for your Holy Spirit to be in every part of our life today. Guide and direct every part of our day. Empower us to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading so that you will be honored through every moment of our life. In the name of Jesus. Amen.