God, Be Merciful to Me

God, be merciful to me, On Thy grace I rest my plea

Tune: REDHEAD NO. 76
Confession Songs
Published in 27 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1 God, be merciful to me,
on Thy grace I rest my plea;
plenteous in compassion Thou,
blot out my transgressions now;
wash me, make me pure within,
cleanse, O cleanse me from my sin.

2 My transgressions I confess,
grief and guilt my soul oppress;
I have sinned against Thy grace
and provoked thee to Thy face;
I confess Thy judgment just,
speechless, I Thy mercy trust.

3 I am evil, born in sin;
Thou desirest truth within.
Thou alone my Savior art,
teach Thy wisdom to my heart;
make me pure, Thy grace bestow,
wash me whiter than the snow.

4 Broken, humbled to the dust
by Thy wrath and judgment just,
let my contrite heart rejoice
and in gladness hear Thy voice;
from my sins O hide Thy face,
blot them out in boundless grace.

5 Gracious God, my heart renew,
make my spirit right and true;
cast me not away from Thee,
let Thy Spirit dwell in me;
Thy salvation's joy impart,
steadfast make my willing heart.

6 Sinners then shall learn from me
and return, O God, to Thee;
Savior, all my guilt remove,
and my tongue shall sing Thy love;
touch my silent lips, O Lord,
and my mouth shall praise accord.

7 Not the formal sacrifice
hath acceptance in Thy eyes;
broken hearts are in Thy sight
more than sacrificial rite;
contrite spirit, pleasing cries,
Thou, O God, wilt not despise.

8 Prosper Zion in Thy grace
and her broken walls replace;
then our righteous sacrifice
shall delight Thy holy eyes;
free-will offerings, gladly made,
on Thy altar shall be laid.

Source: Hymns to the Living God #88

Text Information

First Line: God, be merciful to me, On Thy grace I rest my plea
Title: God, Be Merciful to Me
Source: Psalter, 1912
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Gracious God, my heart renew
Liturgical Use: Confession Songs


Scripture References: st.1 = Ps. 51:1-3 st.2 = Ps. 51:4,8 st.3 = Ps. 51:10-12 st.4 = Ps. 51:13-14,17,19 Based on Psalm 51, the best-known of the penitential psalms, “God, Be Merciful” is a collation from the complete versification of the psalm in the 1912 Psalter. Making various alterations, especially in stanza 3, Bert Polman (PHH 37) prepared the collation to provide a shortened version of this well-known psalm and tune for the Psalter Hymnal. Other settings of Psalm 51 are at 51 and 167. Liturgical Use: Service of confession and forgiveness; a sung prayer for renewal (st. 3); offering of gifts (st. 4). See also PHH 51. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook



REDHEAD 76 is named for its composer, who published it as number 76 in his influential <em>Church Hymn Tunes, Ancient and Modern</em> (1853) as a setting for the hymn text "Rock of Ages." It has been associated with Psalm 51 since the 1912 <em>Psalter</em>, where th…

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[God, be merciful to me]



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