“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

How many times during the last year have you wanted a do-over? Something you said at the wrong time or in the wrong way? A decision you made you wished you could take back or do differently? Maybe a relationship that went bad, or work that didn’t pan out, or a spiritual walk that seemed to sputter at times? Maybe the universal truth that we want to re-start at times is what makes January 1 such an optimistic moment for so many people.

The word, renew, means to start over…to begin again. It’s the idea that we can leave behind the mess and find ourselves again at square one. In life sometimes this isn’t completely possible—a New Year’s resolution is maybe the closest we can come, because consequences of the past can linger. Spiritually, though, God offers us a clean slate. We can confess our sins to him, and choose to follow and obey Him. He promises to wipe them clean and give us a fresh start.

Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” God, renew me. Give me a re-start for the New Year, spiritually. If we ask Him earnestly, and come to Him with a humble heart, He will do it. And if we renew our relationship with God at the beginning of this New Year, we can also trust Him to help us through consequences of the past so that our lives can be fully devoted to Him and His plans for our lives for 2018.

God, renew my relationship with You for this new year. I confess my sins to You and ask You to forgive me. I want to have a clean heart and conscience before You. As I read your Word and pray in the coming days, create a spirit within me that will live more fully for You in the coming year. Amen.

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