Psalm 51:11 KJV
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Other similar passages include:
Psalm 16:11 KJV
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Psalm 27:8 KJV
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
Psalm 42:1-2 KJV
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
Psalm 63:1-3 KJV
God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
Psalm 139:7-10 KJV
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
It seems to me that the psalmist deeply longs for the presence of God and the Holy Spirit. This sounds quite mystical to me. In fact, I have compiled more passages that in my opinion offer a biblical basis to the notion of Christian mysticism (see What is the biblical basis for Christian Mysticism?).
Is a mystical interpretation of Psalm 51:11 justified?
For a working definition of Christian Mysticism I'd like to quote the top answer to Is Christian mysticism an oxymoron or is it a legitimate path for a Christian?:
Christian Mysticism has a long and honourable tradition. You can read the histories of many holy Christian mystics. Wikipedia will give you a good starting point. Meditation is only one aspect. For a working definition, try: ""that part, or element, or Christian belief and practice that concerns the preparation for, the consciousness of, and the effect of [...] a direct and transformative presence of [the Christian] God" (Bernard McGinn). In effect mystics are those who make real and experience for themselves things that many Christians take as theoretical or abstract - e.g. the presence of God, union with God, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Here are some well-known people and practices that form part of the Christian Mystic tradition:
- Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola
- Meister Eckhart
- Brother Lawrence
- Julian of Norwich
- Teresa of Avila
- St John of the Cross
- Thomas Merton
Addendum for the interested reader
Pastor Tim Conway, affiliated with the I'll Be Honest ministry, provides profound insights in a video titled The Presence of God or Mysticism? - Ask Pastor Tim, where he eloquently defends the legitimacy of pursuing and yearning for God's presence. He cites several notable figures from recent history within the reformed movement who attest to this possibility, including Lloyd-Jones, John Owen, A.B. Simpson, Charles Simeon, David Brainerd, Jonathan Edwards, Sarah Edwards, Duncan Campbell, and more recently, Paul Washer. He also cites several passages from Psalms to make his case.