For Ash Wednesday, the emphasis of the verses below is on repentance. For verses on repentance and rededication, please see “Lent,” the previous worship service in this section of WORSHIPPING WITH GOD’S WORD.

The following 17 aspects of a worship service have the best scriptures listed for each of them to put into a worship service that is based on Ash Wednesday.

Calls to Worship

Prayers of Adoration

Prayers and Acclamations of Praise to God

Introductions to Singing

Confessions of Sin

Assurances of God’s Pardon, Declarations of God’s Forgiveness, and Absolutions

Fellowship, Loving One Another, and Passing God’s Peace

Introductions to Scripture Readings

Introductions before Offerings

Prayers of Dedication

Prayers of Thanksgiving

Prayers of Requests

Prayers of Requests and Thanksgiving

Affirmations, Encouragements, and Promises of God

Exhortations

Ascriptions and Self-Declarations by God

Benedictions and Blessings

Since the following scriptures may contain an incomplete verse and have been removed from their contexts in the Bible, it is up to you to make the final determination if they will properly accomplish the purpose for which you are going to use them. Scriptures that are listed below that are incomplete will have an asterisk after their references.

Since the scriptures that are listed below are meant to be used in worship services, please feel free to copy and paste the ones that you select to use in a service. If you copy and paste a selection of scripture into Microsoft Word that has the word LORD in it and then highlight that scripture and change the size of the font for it, then you will also have to do one of the following two things in order for the letters ORD to be smaller capitals than the letter L. Manually change the letters ORD to a smaller size by highlighting them and changing their font to a smaller size than the rest of the scripture selection. Or make the letters Small caps by: 1) Deleting them. 2) Retyping them as ord and highlighting them. 3) Going to the Font area on the Home tab and clicking on the small arrow in its lower right corner. 4) On the Font tab in the next window, checking the box next to Small caps.

 

The Best Calls to Worship for Ash Wednesday

Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Savior. Psalm 24:3-5

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 12 Praise be to you, LORD; teach me your decrees. Psalm 119:1-2, 7, 10, 12

Other Calls to Worship to Consider Using

57 You are my portion, LORD; I have promised to obey your words. 58 I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. 59 I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. 60 I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands. 64 The earth is filled with your love, LORD; teach me your decrees. Psalm 119:57-60, 64

“Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Revelation 15:3bc-4*

 

The Best Prayers of Adoration and Their Introductions
for Ash Wednesday

Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. Exodus 34:5-7a, 8*

13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Habakkuk 1:13a*

50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. Luke 1:50-53

Other Prayers of Adoration and Their Introductions to Consider Using

But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple. Psalm 5:7

15 [Y]ou, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15*

You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139:1-4, 6

23 “[T]hey will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One . . . and will stand in awe of . . . God . . . .” Isaiah 29:23*

2 [Y]ou are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Jonah 4:2c*

3 [T]he song of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. 4 Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Revelation 15:3-4*

 

The Best Prayers and Acclamations of Praise to God
and Their Introductions for Ash Wednesday

18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” Acts 11:18

Other Prayers and Acclamations of Praise to God and Their
Introductions to Consider Using

22 I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. 23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! Psalm 22:22-23

37 Now I . . . praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. Daniel 4:37*

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth: “May you prosper greatly! 26 I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. 27 He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.” Daniel 6:25-27a*

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 11 In him we were also chose . . . , 12 in order that we, who . . . put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12*

 

The Best Introductions to Singing for Ash Wednesday

25 He stationed the Levites in the temple of the LORD with cymbals, harps and lyres in the way prescribed by David and Gad the king’s seer and Nathan the prophet; this was commanded by the LORD through his prophets. 26 So the Levites stood ready with David’s instruments, and the priests with their trumpets. 27 Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the LORD began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the musicians played and the trumpets sounded. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed. 29 When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshiped. 30 King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to praise the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed down and worshiped. 2 Chronicles 29:25-30

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Psalm 51:14

22 “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” 23 Sing for joy, you heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees . . . . Isaiah 44:22-23*

Other Introductions to Singing to Consider Using

28 The duty of the Levites was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the temple of the LORD: . . . . 30 They were . . . to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD. They were to do the same in the evening 31 and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the LORD on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals. 1 Chronicles 23:28, 30-31a*

18 Then Jehoiada placed the oversight of the temple of the LORD in the hands of the Levitical priests, to whom David had made assignments in the temple, to present the burnt offerings of the LORD as written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as David had ordered. 2 Chronicles 23:18

They held harps given them by God and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Revelation 15:2b-4*

 

The Best Confessions of Sin and Their Introductions for Ash Wednesday

The maximum number of scriptures that are usually listed for a worship service are about 10. But because this aspect of worship is “The Best Confessions of Sin and Their Introductions for Ash Wednesday,” and the scriptures listed below for Ash Wednesday center on repentance, there are many more listed below.

The LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the LORD is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged.’ ” Numbers 5:5-7

13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7

30 “I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die . . . ? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!” Ezekiel 18:30-32*

1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 3:1-2, 5-8, 10

He [John the son of Zechariah] went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Luke 3:3, 8a, 9*

19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” Acts 3:19*

21 “[Y]our heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” Acts 8:21-23*

20 “First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.” Acts 26:20

yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10

19 “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19*

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:26-31

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. James 4:8-9

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

“I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” Revelation 2:4-5*

1 “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” Revelation 3:1b-3*

Other Confessions of Sin and Their Introductions to Consider Using

when anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what way they have sinned. As a penalty for the sin they have committed, they must bring to the LORD a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for them for their sin. Leviticus 5:5-6

“ ‘I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle.’ ” Jeremiah 8:6

18 “ ‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return, because you are the LORD my God. 19 After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’ ” Jeremiah 31:18-19*

10 “ ‘ “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?” ’ 11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die . . . ?’ ” Ezekiel 33:10-11*

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 4:17

“Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” Matthew 18:7-9

“[T]here will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. 10 I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:7, 10* 

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14

30 “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30

18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. Acts 19:18

21 “I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.” Acts 20:21

22 [D]o not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. 1 Timothy 5:22*

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:20-21

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11

19 “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” Revelation 3:19

 

The Best Assurances of Pardon, Declarations of God’s Forgiveness, and Absolutions for Ash Wednesday

13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7

27 “[I]f a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life. 28 Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die.” Ezekiel 18:27-28*

14 “[I]f I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right—15 if they . . . follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die. 16 None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.” Ezekiel 33:14-16*

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. Jonah 3:10

If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Other Assurances of Pardon, Declarations of God’s Forgiveness,
and Absolutions to Consider Using

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.” 2 Samuel 12:13

22 “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22

 

The Best Scriptures on Fellowship, Loving One Anotherand
Passing God’s Peace for Ash Wednesday

18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9

Other Scriptures on Fellowship, Loving One Another,
and Passing God’s Peace to Consider Using

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

 

The Best Introductions to Scripture Readings for Ash Wednesday

They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the LORD their God. Nehemiah 9:3

24 “Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong.” Job 6:24

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. Psalm 25:8-9

You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. Psalm 119:4-6

11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. 37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. Psalm 119:36-37

1 Hear the word of the LORD, . . . , because the LORD has a charge to bring against you . . . . Hosea 4:1*

47 “As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:47-49

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Other Introductions to Scripture Readings to Consider Using

Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. Nehemiah 8:9

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17

22 “Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’ ” Acts 3:22-23*

 

The Best Introductions before Offerings for Ash Wednesday

26 Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the LORD. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the LORD. Judges 20:26

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:23-26

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:23-27

15 Then he [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” 16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:15-21

13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Luke 16:13

24 Jesus . . . said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:24-27*

[G]odliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10*

Other Introductions before Offerings to Consider Using

17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, . . . , as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:17-18*

27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—when you already have it with you. Proverbs 3:27-28

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:32-34

 1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, . . . .” Luke 19:1-9*

 

The Best Prayers of Dedication and Their Introductions for Ash Wednesday

The maximum number of scriptures that are usually listed for a worship service are about 10. But there are so many of “The Best Prayers of Dedication and Their Introductions” that apply very well for an Ash Wednesday Worship Service that there are many more than this listed below.

Then the LORD said . . . . “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:6-7*

23 “If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored: If you remove wickedness far from your tent 24 and assign your nuggets to the dust, . . . , 25 then the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest silver for you. 26 Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty and will lift up your face to God.” Job 22:23-26*

14 “[I]f I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right—15 if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die. 16 None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.” Ezekiel 33:14-16*

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Luke 3:8a, 9

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14

21 “I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.” Acts 20:21

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:1-4

          And

[W]e know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— Romans 6:6*

11 [C]ount yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. Romans 6:11-13*

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. Romans 8:12-14

1 [D]ear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1*

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24

19 “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:11-12

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Hebrews 12:1

14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 1 John 2:15

18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 1 John 5:18

Other Prayers of Dedication and Their Introductions to Consider Using

15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” 16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:15-21

1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:1-10

19 Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. Romans 6:19b*

Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32

Put to death . . . whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Colossians 3:5-8*

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:20-21

 

The Best Prayers of Thanksgiving and Their Introductions for Ash Wednesday

Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:6-7

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. 17 I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the LORD would not have listened; 19 but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. 20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66:16-20

Other Prayers of Thanksgiving and Their Introductions to Consider Using

28 The duty of the Levites was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the temple of the LORD: . . . . 30 They were . . . to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD. They were to do the same in the evening 31 and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the LORD on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals. 1 Chronicles 23:28, 30-31a*

 

The Best Prayers of Requests and Their Introductions for Ash Wednesday

13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. Psalm 19:13

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. 12 For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. 13 Be pleased to save me, LORD; come quickly, LORD, to help me. Psalm 40:11-13

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Psalm 51:1-2, 9

133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. Psalm 119:133

“[L]et people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways . . . .” Jonah 3:8*

41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

24 [T]he boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24*

38 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38

10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:10-14

40 “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” Luke 22:40*

You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:2c-3*

Other Prayers of Requests and Their Introductions to Consider Using

Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. 10 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king. 11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. 12 He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Akbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: 13 “Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the LORD’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” 18 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 19 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the LORD. 20 Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’ ” So they took her answer back to the king. 2 Kings 22:8, 10-13, 18-20

[W]hen you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:6-8*

 

The Best Prayers of Requests and Thanksgiving and Their
Introductions for Ash Wednesday

Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me. Psalm 119:5-8

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. Psalm 126:5-6

Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD; 2 Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. [P]ut your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. Psalm 130:1-7*

You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you. 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:1-4, 6, 14, 17-18, 23-24

I say to the LORD, “You are my God.” Hear, LORD, my cry for mercy. 13 Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence. Psalm 140:6, 13

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6–7

Other Prayers of Requests and Thanksgiving and Their
Introductions to Consider Using

Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, LORD, are good. 11 For the sake of your name, LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. 18 Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. Psalm 25:6-7, 11, 18

I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 1 Timothy 2:8*

 

The Best Affirmations, Encouragements, and Promises
of God for Ash Wednesday

13 “[I]f you devote your heart to him [God the Almighty] and stretch out your hands to him, 14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, 15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. 16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. 17 Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. 18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor.” Job 11:13-19

15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One . . . says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength . . . .” Isaiah 30:15*

15 T]his is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15*

“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” Jeremiah 24:7

14 “[I]f I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right—15 if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die. 16 None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.” Ezekiel 33:14-16*

18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. Romans 6:18

13 When you were dead in your sins . . . , God made you alive with Christ. Colossians 2:13a*

Other Affirmations, Encouragements, and Promises of God to Consider Using

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Psalm 126:5

19 “[I]f a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so.” Ezekiel 33:19*

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

12 “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12

11 “[A]ll those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14:11*

14 “[A]ll those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:14b*

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4

18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 1 John 5:18

 

The Best Exhortations for Ash Wednesday

The maximum number of scriptures that are usually listed for a worship service are about 10. But there are so many of “The Best Exhortations” that apply very well for an Ash Wednesday Service that there are many more than this listed below.

“[I]f you devote your heart to him [God the Almighty] and stretch out your hands to him, 14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, 15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. 16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. 17 Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. 18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor.”  Job 11:13-19

23 “If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored: If you remove wickedness far from your tent 24 and assign your nuggets to the dust, your gold . . . to the rocks in the ravines, 25 then the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest silver for you. 26 Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty and will lift up your face to God. 27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows. 28 What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways.” Job 22:23-28

27 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. 28 For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.  Psalm 37:27-28a*

15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One . . . says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength . . . .” Isaiah 30:15*

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7

13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love . . . . Joel 2:13*

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” Matthew 3:8

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” Luke 3:8a*

16 [W]e are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 18 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 6:16bc, 18-7:1*

1 [L]et us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1*

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

22 [D]o not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. 1 Timothy 5:22*

19 “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19*

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Hebrews 12:1

14 So then, dear friends, . . . , make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him [God]. 2 Peter 3:14*

Other Exhortations to Consider Using

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:7-8

27 “[I]f a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life. 28 Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die.” Ezekiel 18:27-28*

14 “And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right—15 if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die. 16 None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.’ ” Ezekiel 33:14-16

19 “[I]f a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so.” Ezekiel 33:19*

1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13

Put to death . . . whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Colossians 3:5, 7-8*

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:15-16

 

The Best Ascriptions and Self-Declarations by God for Ash Wednesday

Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” Exodus 34:5-7a*

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Revelation 1:5b-6*

 

The Best Benedictions and Blessings for Ash Wednesday

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:23a, 24*

Other Benedictions and Blessings to Consider Using

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4