The scriptures listed below for Lent emphasize repentance and rededication. For scriptures on repentance alone, see “Ash Wednesday” listed next in this section. For scriptures on dedication, see “A Dedication Sunday or Service” in “God’s Word and the Best Scriptures to Use in 23 Special Worship Services.”

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 Lent.

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 Lent

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

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

Other Calls to Worship to Consider Using

23 LORD, . . . , there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.” 1 Kings 8:23*

Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. 11 You who fear him, trust in the LORD—he is their help and shield. 12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us: He will bless his people . . . , 13 he will bless those who fear the LORD—small and great alike. 18 it is we who extol the LORD, both now and forevermore. Praise the LORD. Psalm 115:1, 3, 11-13, 18*

With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:6-8

68 “Praise be to the Lord, . . . , because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” Luke 1:68-69, 74-75*

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Luke 2:36-37

The devil led him [Jesus] up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ” Luke 4:5-8

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47

 

The Best Prayers of Adoration and Their Introductions for Lent

23 LORD, . . . , there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 24 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.” 1 Kings 8:23–24*

How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; . . . . 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:1-2, 10-11*

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

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*

“My covenant was with him [Levi], a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name.” Malachi 2:5

11 It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ” Romans 14:11

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11

28 [S]ince we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, Hebrews 12:28*

 

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

23 LORD, . . . , there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.” 1 Kings 8:23*

14 LORD, . . . , there is no God like you in heaven or on earth—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.” 2 Chronicles 6:14*

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! 25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows. Psalm 22:22-23, 25

“[T]he great and awesome God . . . keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,” Daniel 9:4*

68 “Praise be to the Lord, . . . , because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 74 [t]o enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” Luke 1:68-69, 74-75*

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

Praise awaits you, our God, . . . ; to you our vows will be fulfilled. Psalm 65:1*

 

The Best Introductions to Singing for Lent

11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! Psalm 32:11

Praise the LORD. Praise the name of the LORD; praise him, you servants of the LORD, you who minister in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God. Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant. Psalm 135:1-3

14 My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts . . . . Isaiah 65:14*

Other Introductions to Singing to Consider Using

“Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’ ” Jonah 2:8-9

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy . . . , because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” 11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” 14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped. Revelation 5:6a, 9-14*

 

The Best Confessions of Sin and Their Introductions for Lent

13 “[I]f you devote your heart to him [God 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*

21 “[I]f a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22 None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” Ezekiel 18:21-23*

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

12 [D]o 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 6:12-13*

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 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 4:7-9

24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

[M]ake every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 2 Peter 1:5-9*

Other Confessions of Sin and Their Introductions to Consider Using

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*

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

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

“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*

 

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

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

21 “[I]f a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22 None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” Ezekiel 18:21-23*

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*

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

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 Another,
and Passing God’s Peace for Lent

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

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22

[I]f we walk in the light, as he [God] is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7*

21 And he [God] has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 1 John 4:21

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

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

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

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12

 

The Best Introductions to Scripture Readings for Lent

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

11 Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11

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

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

“[L]isten to what I say to you. Do not rebel like . . . rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” Ezekiel 2:8*

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

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

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

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3

[H]e [Jesus] 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 1:4*

Other Introductions to Scripture Readings to Consider Using

10 And he [the LORD] said to me, “[L]isten carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you.” Ezekiel 3:10*

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 Lent

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

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

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44

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

 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*

1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4

[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*

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Other Introductions before Offerings to Consider Using

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

 

The Best Prayers of Dedication and Their Introductions for Lent

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 a Lenten Worship Service that there are many more than this listed below.

1 “Come, let us return to the LORD. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:1a, 2-3*

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” Luke 12:27-31

25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 33 [T]hose of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Luke 14:25-27, 33*

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

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

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

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*

1 I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2*

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:1-7

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*

20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

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

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22

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*

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, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:11-14

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17

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

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1 Peter 2:11-12

[M]ake every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-11*

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 1 John 2:3-6

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. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17

Other Prayers of Dedication and Their Introductions to Consider Using

33 They worshiped the LORD, but they also served their own gods         2 Kings 17:33*

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ ” Matthew 7:21-23

13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 1 Corinthians 6:13

[M]ake every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8*

17 “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Revelation 3:17-18

 

The Best Prayers of Thanksgiving and Their Introductions for Lent

Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:6-8

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*

68 “Praise be to the Lord, . . . , because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 74 to . . . enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” Luke 1:68-69, 74-75*

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 2 Thessalonians 1:3

 

The Best Prayers of Requests and Their Introductions for Lent

“The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” 2 Chronicles 15:2bc*

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:10-12

13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ ” Matthew 6:9-13

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

He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’ ” Luke 11:2-4

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

Other Prayers of Requests and Their Introductions to Consider Using

12 They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. 15 They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side. 2 Chronicles 15:12, 15bc*

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.” Isaiah 58:6-7, 9a*

12 “Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” Daniel 10:12b*

Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Zephaniah 2:3a*

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

 

The Best Prayers of Requests and Thanksgiving
and Their Introductions for Lent

Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 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. 10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10

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. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. Psalm 119:10, 12, 14 

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

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

31 I hold fast to your statutes, LORD; do not let me be put to shame. 32 I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. 33 Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. 35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. 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. 38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. 40 How I long for your precepts! In your righteousness preserve my life. 41 May your unfailing love come to me, LORD, your salvation, according to your promise; 42 . . . for I trust in your word. 43 Never take your word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws. Psalm 119:31-38, 40-43*

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

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

Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8a*

 

The Best Affirmations, Encouragementsand Promises of God for Lent

[T]he LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands . . . . The LORD will . . . delight in you and make you prosperous . . . 10 if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees . . . and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 30:9-10*

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

32 [Y]ou who seek God, may your hearts live! Psalm 69:32*

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

“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

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

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

Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4

He [the LORD] will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure. Isaiah 33:6

16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. 17 “On the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.” Malachi 3:16-17

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

12 “[T]hose 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*

11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. 2 Timothy 2:11-12a*

 

The Best Exhortations for Lent

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 a Lenten Service that there are many more than this listed below.

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*

1 “Come, let us return to the LORD. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:1a, 2-3*

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 1:3*

33 “[T]hose of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Luke 14:33*

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*

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

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

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Other Exhortations to Consider Using

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*

23 “ ‘Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.’ ” Jeremiah 7:23*

[Y]ou must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always. Hosea 12:6*

30 “He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

1 Since . . . you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3*

1 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 1 Thessalonians 4:1

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:22-25

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

 

The Best Ascriptions and Self-Declarations by God for Lent

23 LORD, . . . , there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.” 1 Kings 8:23*

14 LORD, . . . , there is no God like you in heaven or on earth—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.” 2 Chronicles 6:14*

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*

Other Ascriptions and Self-Declarations by God to Consider Using

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9

 

The Best Benedictions and Blessings for Lent

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*

20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20–21

1 To God’s elect, . . . , who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 1 Peter 1:1-2*

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

Other Benedictions and Blessings to Consider Using

Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands. Psalm 112:1b*

To all . . . who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:7*

24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love. Ephesians 6:24