David had a heart for God, and they shared a close relationship. God called him a man after His own heart; that means David’s heart and God’s heart were intertwined. They were intimate friends. David is the one who wrote the words in Psalm 42:1, 2: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” We see that he had a soul thirsty for a connection with God. So, it’s understandable that after his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah, David felt disconnected from God. His soul longed to have this relationship back to normal.
He prayed the prayer of penitence in Psalm 51 for mercy, forgiveness, washing and cleansing from his sin. David acknowledged his sinfulness and wanted to restore the broken trust. Then he prayed for God to do a work inside him that he could not do for himself.
He prayed, “create in me a clean heart.” The Hebrew word for create is “bara” which means make something out of what is not there. It’s the same word that is used in Genesis 1, where God created the world out of nothing by His Word. The creative power at the beginning of the world is what David asked to be used to create in him a totally new heart, a heart that is steadfast and responsive to God. He prayed, “renew in me a steadfast spirit.” He wanted a spirit that doesn’t wander away from God. A heart that remains faithful and loyal to God.
Jesus also recognizes in us a hunger and thirst for God that only He can fill. He says that He is the Water of Life and that all who come to Him will find their thirst quenched.
In this new year, we can pray the prayer that David offered for a new and steadfast heart by daily coming to Jesus for a fresh portion of the Holy Spirit who will keep us steadfast and connected to Jesus.
I have the same desire that David had. My heart longs for God just like the deer longs for water. I’m sure you do as well. Let’s all pray the same prayer daily this new year.
By James Shires