In this week’s sermon, I recommended a spiritual practice called the Prayer of Examen. And as promised, here is a simple description of how to practice this prayer.
First, find a place to meet with God on a regular basis. If you already have a place where you pray and read your Bible and other devotional material, I recommend you use that space. Then each night, go that space and once you are settled you:
· Begin by giving thanks to God for his love for you.
· Then pray for grace to understand how God is acting in your life.
· Then review your day—your week—your month and ask yourself questions, such as:
o What are you most/least grateful for during that time?
o When did you feel a sense of love, peace, joy, life (the gifts of the Spirit)?
o When did you feel exhausted, dead, drained, angry, mean?
o What specific events, thoughts, or experiences draw your attention?
o What aspects of that time repel you? What moments speak to you of your deepest desires?
o What things feel out of place, uninteresting?
o When did I notice God during this time?
o What felt like a time of God’s absence?
o As some answers to these questions arise, notice what they suggest to you about the future. How is God calling you into being? Toward what actions, activities, or attributes is God drawing you? How can your life be different tomorrow?
o Finish with the Lord’s Prayer or your favorite evening prayer.
There are also a number of online resources for the prayer of examen. Here are just a few:
- · http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen
- · https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/examen-prayer/id899720088?mt=8 (yes, there’s an app for this!)
- · http://www.examen.me