Our annual season of fasting and repentance is days away. Many of us have yet to determine what we will do to foster a closer relationship with God during this time. For those of us who are still undecided, I propose we follow the example of Christ in the desert and focus on memorizing passages of Scripture. After all:
the blossoms, if we may call them that, of faith and piety do not grow in the desert places of a memory-less catechesis. // Catechesi Tradendae 55
I do not mean that Jesus spent His time in the desert memorizing Scripture–He didn’t. He had been memorizing Scripture throughout His childhood as a part of His Jewish education. Instead, I mean to draw attention to the fact that when Jesus was tempted by Satan in His most destitute moments, He was able to utilize the exact words of God to combat Lucifer’s lies (see Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus’ knowledge of God in the Scriptures is what allowed Him to be confident in the truth and resist temptation.
Since Jesus used Scripture as a weapon to oppose His enemy, it makes sense that we should imitate His tactic—especially since Satan does not change tactics and consistently lies to all of us!
40 Short Bible Verses to Memorize During Lent
Below is a compilation of 40 Bible verses from both the Old and New Testaments. They are all short and encouraging. Most importantly, they speak truth that will come in handy during moments of self-doubt throughout our day.
- Exodus 14:14 // “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still.”
- John 3:16 // “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 3:17 // “For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”
- Hosea 2:14 // “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.
- 1 Chronicles 16:11 // “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually!”
- 2 Timothy 1:7 // “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:7 // “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
- Hebrews 13:8 // “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.”
- Colossians 3:2 // “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
- Matthew 7:7-8 //“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
- Jeremiah 29:11 // “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Wear a reminder on your t-shirt, too!)
- Proverbs 3:5 // “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.”
- Philemon 1:25 // “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”
- Psalm 37:4 // “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
- Deuteronomy 32:4 // “The Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he.”
- Psalm 119:105 // “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
- Matthew 18:20 // “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
- Psalm 56:3 // “When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee.”
- Psalm 139:8 // “If I ascend to heaven, thou art there! If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there!”
- Matthew 11:30 // “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
- Philippians 4:13 // “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”
- Romans 12:12 // “Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 // “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
- Proverbs 10:12 // “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”
- Joshua 24:15 // “...as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
- Proverbs 16:20 // “He who gives heed to the word will prosper, and happy is he who trusts in the Lord.”
- James 2:17 // “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”
- Proverbs 12:25 // “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
- Deuteronomy 8:3 // “Man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.”
- Matthew 4:10 // “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”
- Isaiah 9:2 // “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”
- John 14:6 // “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”
- Matthew 5:16 // “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”
- Hosea 6:6 // For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings.
- Mark 10:27 // “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
- Isaiah 53:5 // “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.”
- Matthew 28:19-20 // “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
- John 21:25 // “But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”
- James 1:2-4 // “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
- Revelation 21:4 // “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.”
Practical Ways to Implement
40 verses were chosen for this post because of the symbolic meaning of that number and its significance to the season of Lent. However, it has to be acknowledged that memorizing 40 verses in 40 days could actually be a significant challenge, especially in this day and age when so much information that used to be memorized is now stored in our phones!
If 40 verses sounds like too many, never fear! There are many ways to work on committing Scripture verses to memory for the Lenten Season.
- Choose 10-15 verses from the bunch, put them in a jar, and draw them out one at a time throughout Lent. Don’t pull out another verse until the one drawn has been committed to memory (this could be the same day, or 3-4 days away). Work at your own pace.
- Of the verses, choose seven (another important Scriptural number) and memorize one per week for the seven weeks of Lent.
- Read through the list again and highlight all the ones that speak to your heart and your current situation in life. Use Lent to commit those to memory. More importantly, spend time meditating on their meaning for your relationship with God.
- Choose one verse that stands out, and use Lent to try and implement its meaning into your daily life.
…or any other method and combination that suits you!
Other Scripture Verses to Memorize
Looking for other Scripture verses to memorize? Give a gander to these options!
- Scripture Verses to Pray When You're Mad at God
- Scripture Verses to Pray When You're Missing Someone
- Scripture Verses to Pray During Times of Anxiety
- Scripture Verses to Pray When You Have the Winter Blues
- Scripture Verses to Pray When You're Disappointed
- Scripture Verses to Pray for Your Marriage
- Scripture Verses to Pray When You're Grateful
- Scripture Verses to Pray When You're Cold