The Prayer of Examen
This practice of the experiencing the presence of God is based on “The Daily or Prayer of Examen” from St. Ignatius of Loyola- founder of the Society of Jesus (known as Jesuits)and lived over 500 yrs ago.
What it is: It is a prayer tool that allows us to pause and intentionally look for God’s presence and movement in our lives. It also helps foster and nurture an attitude of attentiveness and gratitude.
THE FOUR R’S
REST: Take time at the end of the day to stop and rest from the hurry. Create a quiet, sacred space to reflect. Start by simply inviting God into this reflection time with you.
REWIND: Like rewinding a video tape, go back to the beginning of the day and look over your entire day as it played out. Picture Jesus sitting beside you watching the tape, knowing that he looks at you in your day with “a scrutiny of love” as Richard Foster calls it.
REVIEW: As you go through the day, look for all the blessings you can be grateful to God for and thank Him. Look also for the places you could see God’s presence. Next look at the places where you faced challenges, didn’t feel God, or struggled. Ask God to lovingly look at that with you and to reveal any patterns or insights.
RELEASE: Turn the day over to God, to his provision and guidance. Ask for his help in areas you are being challenged. End with a prayer of thanks for his loving presence and care.
Note: This is great practice to do at the end of the day right before sleep. If by chance you do fall asleep during the prayer, that’s ok. You fall asleep in the arms of God!