The Examen [A Practice of Prayer]

Last night in our Gathering, Darrell invited us into the prayer of examen as a helpful tool to review the state of our hearts before God. 

Below is an outline of the examen that can guide your evening reflection this week.

[For a longer summary of the Examen and its history as a spiritual practice, see HERE. For audio guides into the practice of examen, consider A New Liturgy 06 or the Pray as You Go app for your iOS or Android device.]

Step One: Presence

Take some time and focus on the nearness of God. Open yourself to His presence.

“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” [Psalm 145:18]

“The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All you have made will praise you, O Lord; your saints will extol you.” [Psalm 145:9]

Step Two: Gratitude

Looking back over the past 24 hours, for what are you most grateful? What makes you feel thankful? Using simple words, express your gratitude to God.

“Praise be to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.” [Ephesians 1:3]

Step Three: Review

When or where in the past 24 hours were you cooperating most fully with God’s action in your life? When were you resisting? What habits and life patterns do you notice from the past day?

“Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul...Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” [Psalm 143:8b,10]

Step Four: Response

Beginning today, how do you want to live your life differently? What patterns do you want to keep living tomorrow?

“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, 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]