“Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.”
Psalm 19:13 NLT
Sometimes we sin without really planning to do so. For example, we might get angry with someone and think unkind thoughts. Before we know it, we’ve sinned. While we need forgiveness for these accidental sins, in this verse King David is referring to willful sins. These are sins that result from intentionally choosing to do wrong. King David is asking God to keep him from these willful sins because David knows that God can and will help him.
God doesn’t want us to sin. If we ask God to give us strength against sin, He will help us. We can ask God to keep us from sin at any time. We can pray this prayer in the morning before we begin our day. We can pray it in the heat of the moment when we are trying to resist temptation. And we can pray it when we repent, after the fact. We can tell God that we are sorry for sinning willfully and ask Him to help us to not do it again.
Folks, what matters is that we ask. God wants to help us avoid sin.