- Short Lent Prayers
- Lent Bible Verses for Reflection
- Daily Readings for Lent
- Stations of the Cross
- Seven Last Words
- Lent Prayers FAQ
When Ash Wednesday rolls around each year, it can catch us off guard when it comes to our prayer life.
We know Lent is important and that it helps prepare us for Easter. Most Catholics recognize Lent as a solemn period where we repent.
As such, during Lent, we might feel pressure to “up our game” when it comes to prayer.
The reality is that prayer is important during Lent. Very important. But fasting and almsgiving matter too. So do all the other actions we might take to help us let go of our own desires and align with God’s call for us.
God doesn’t call us to pray *longer* during this time. Or prayer “better”—whatever that means.
A great starting point for drawing closer to God and improving our prayer life during Lent is simply the desire to improve our prayer life during Lent. If you’re reading this, chances are you already have that desire.
So let’s start there.
Short Lent Prayers
Short Lent prayers are an easy way to go from desiring to pray more during Lent to actually doing so.
After all, Lent includes (and prepares us for) some of the longest liturgies of the year.
Palm Sunday features the first reading of the Passion of Christ before we hear it again on Good Friday. Holy Week also features Holy Thursday and the Easter Vigil, two liturgies that are unique and beautiful.
And longer than normal.
When we’re not at Mass, sometimes we just need short, simple prayers to remain close to God during our busy days.
Lent is no different.
Here are some easy prayers you can say to feel connected to God during Lent this year:
- “God, may Your light guide my day, and your spirit bring me peace. Amen.”
- “God, may my sacrifice of today of (state your Lenten sacrifice) remind me of my dependence on You for all the blessings I enjoy. Amen.”
- ”May I stand in solidarity today with all my brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering. May we be united in your love, and may I work to build your kingdom here on earth.”
- “Heavenly Father, I’m truly sorry for the moments today where I missed the mark. I ask for your forgiveness and the strength to better follow Your call tomorrow. Amen.”
- ”God, I lift up (name of the person you’d like to pray for) today. I ask that you bless them abundantly today and throughout Lent. Amen.”
- “Oh Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything. Amen.”
Hallow offers “Minute Meditations”–short, simple prayers that can help build your Lenten prayer habit in just a few minutes each day.
RELATED: Easter Prayers for 2023
Lenten Bible Study: Verses to Reflect on
Just as short prayers can help enrich our faith lives during Lent, Bible passages can also help us reflect on and draw meaning from the season.
And as with short prayers, just because a Bible verse is not long or complex does not mean it lacks substance. Some of the most powerful scriptures or Sermons in the Bible and directly from Jesus are a few simple words such as the 7 last words of Christ. (Link back to #Pray40)
You can also consider these short Bible verses to reflect on this Lent:
“Then Job replied to the Lord: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”Job 42: 1-6
“Is this not, rather, the fast that I choose: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; Setting free the oppressed, breaking off every yoke? 7 Is it not sharing your bread with the hungry, bringing the afflicted and the homeless into your house; Clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; Your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: “Here I am!”Isaiah 58: 6-9 “
“By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread, Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”Genesis 3:19
“So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds. 9 Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.”James 4: 7-10
Daily Readings for Lent
Like all daily readings at Mass, Bible passages for the season of Lent revolve around a calendar cycle.
Sunday readings are on a three-year rotation of readings identified by the letters A, B, and C. In 2023, the Church follows Year A readings, which highlight the Gospel of Luke.
Daily Mass readings—that form the basis of the Liturgy of the Word for weekday Masses—operate on a two-year cycle. In 2023, the Church will use readings from Cycle I for weekday liturgies.
The USCCB is a helpful resource for all daily Mass readings from the Bible, and the same is true during Lent.
The Hallow app also offers daily Mass readings, morning prayers, daily reflections and more each day. Listen to and reflect on each reading right from your phone.
Praying the Stations of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross are a popular devotion during Lent.
Known as Via Crucis in Latin, this form of prayer commemorates the journey Jesus made to Calvary, and the various steps he made in that journey. Fourteen “stations” are featured in total.
Each station usually begins with a verse by someone leading the prayer. The group responds in unison. Short words of meditation then lead into a shared prayer, recited by all.
Those gathered process around the church, stopping at the artwork depicting each step in Jesus’ path to the cross.
Stations of the Cross have a rich history within the Church. In modern times, Stations of the Cross often take place on Friday evenings during Lent.
Many churches will hold a special service for the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.
7 Last Words
The seven last words, or sayings, of Jesus refer to the final phrases he gave us before he handed over his spirit on the cross.
Lent is a popular time to reflect on these words. Hallow will have plenty of prayer resources devoted to helping you spend time with Jesus’ final words.
Lent Prayers FAQ
Let Hallow guide you through common questions or misconceptions about Lent prayers so you can have no doubts about getting started in deepening your prayer life.
Lent is rooted in Jesus’ time in the desert when he prayed and fasted for 40 days and overcame the Devil’s temptation. The Bible does not specifically mention Lent. However, it’s worth remembering the importance of Scripture and tradition in the Church. The early church existed for decades before the first written Gospel (Mark).
There are not many (if any!) prayers that are entirely reserved just for Lent. Liturgical practices have more obvious changes. For example, the Gloria is omitted from Mass, as is the Alleluia before the Gospel. Prayers like the Hail Mary and Our Father are always acceptable during Lent (and outside of it).
There’s no set number of prayers or even how you should pray. Ask for God’s forgiveness and in addition to abstaining from meat on Fridays. And what to give up for Lent is a personal choice. In addition, you can also add to others in the spirit of almsgiving by volunteering, helping a charity, or simply doing a chore for a loved one.
The Stations of the Cross are most commonly prayed at church or an outdoor shrine. You can also use the Hallow app and pray the Stations of the Cross at home.
Make your 2023 Lent your best one yet. Pray with Hallow–the leading Catholic prayer app–and find peace this Lent.