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20 Lent Bible Verses for Reflection and Guidance

Whether your Lenten journey involves giving up or taking on, or both, here is Scripture to help you contemplate the meaning of this sacred season.
A wooden cross on a purple background showing how to read Lent Bible verses

Lent is a season of reflection and spiritual growth, of sacrifice or contribution. These uplifting Bible verses can help guide you through the 40 days of Lent and lead you to contemplate the meaning of this sacred season as you incorporate the Bible’s teachings into your life.

READ MORE: Is Lent in the Bible?

Popular Lent Bible Verses

Woman reading Lent bible verses outside

1) Matthew 6:16-18 – Keep a Secret

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites…But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:16-18)

No need to tell everybody what you’ve given up for Lent–if you’ve given up anything. Keep it in secret. It’s a secret between you and God. What could be more powerful than a secret like that?

Lent Bible verses stating Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.

2) 1 Peter 5:6 – Reveal Your Struggle

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. (1 Peter 5:6)

Humility gets a bad rap in our culture. After all, aren’t you supposed to let the world know how great you are so that you get some credit for all the good stuff you’re doing? What if you actually revealed how much you struggle, even in your faith? Be guided by this Lent Bible verse. God can help us when we let God know how helpless we are.

3) Isaiah 58:6-7 – Take on Something

Is this not the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house…” (Isaiah 58:6-7)

Giving up something to celebrate Lent? You could also do as these verses suggest: take on something. Volunteer at that soup kitchen. Make a donation to your favorite charity. Donate some clothing or food for the poor. Giving can be another way of doing a Lenten fast. Taking on as you give up.

4) Mark 1:12-13 – Find Your Wilderness

At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” (Mark 1:12-13)

The gospel of Mark is so succinct. In two verses the writer describes all that happened to Jesus for those 40 days. We often get fixated on how Jesus went without food but notice here how the wilderness part of the experience was also crucial. To be alone. To be tested. To be with the wild animals and the angels. Before Jesus could begin His ministry, He needed that wilderness time. Can we not find a way to do the same as we look to grow in faith? Look for a Lenten retreat in your community.

READ MORE: How to Observe Lent in a Different Way This Year

5) Colossians 2:16-17 – Honor Your Choice

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17)

Okay, so maybe you gave up desserts for Lent, and now Easter is coming, and you can’t wait to gorge on some jellybeans or chocolate eggs. There’s always going to be some worthy soul out there who will say, “Shouldn’t you just give up those things anyway, all year round?” You can respond with this Lent Bible verse. It’s not about what’s healthy or not. It’s about Christ. You made that choice for Lent to remember God. And to honor God.

Lent Bible verses stating Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.

6) Daniel 9:3 – Seek Inward Things

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. (Daniel 9:3)

All these outward things we do for Lent, the fasting, the time of silence and stillness, even wearing some different clothes, they are simply ways to help us do the inward things. That is to seek God in Lenten prayers, asking for God’s mercy.

READ MORE: 20 Beautiful Lent Quotes to Inspire You

Lent Bible verses For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

7) John 3:16 – Remember His Sacrifice

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

This was what came out of Jesus’s wilderness experience. This was what all those trials gave Him the inner strength to share with the world, even as He knew what suffering would be ahead. A timeless message, always, for Lent.

More Lent Bible Verses to Reflect On

Woman's hands holding a coffee cup while she reads lent bible verses

8) As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? (Psalms 42:1-2)

9) 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? (Isaiah 58:6)

10) In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

11) Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:5)

Lent Bible verses The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

12) The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:25-16)

13) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… (1 Peter 1:3)

14) Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5)

15) Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (Matthew 6:25)

Lent Bible verses stating For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

16) For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

17) But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always. (Hosea 12:6)

18) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

19) Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

20) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

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