Lenten Journey: Week 2 – Prayer of Examen

Beauty Flower

Re-posted from: Community of Christ – Lenten Practices

The  prayer of examen is a daily spiritual  practice that encourages us to review the day with God, remember our connection  with the Holy, and recommit ourselves to encounter the Divine once again. This  practice is credited to St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), and while it is  often practiced at the end of a day, it may be used at any time. Praying the examen  during Lent is an opportunity to review our lives, and realign with the mission  of Christ.

Hymn for Reflection“I Will  Talk to My Heart” CCS 168
  • Find  a comfortable and quiet place in which you are able to reflect on your day.  Read scriptures, such as Psalm 139:1–3, 7 or Psalm 51:10–12, 15–17.
  • You  may want to write in a journal your thoughts on these scriptures or during the examen,  write as you notice the Spirit stirring within you.
  • Becoming  calm and centered is critical, so begin by recognizing God’s presence and give  thanks for this awareness. Gently enter into a time of prayer with the  expectation and permission to be guided by the Holy Spirit in this process. Offer  gratitude as you recognize the many and diverse ways in which God has been  present to you over the past day. You may want to journal your thanks in  writing.
  • Look  back over your day objectively, without judgment or justification. Notice where  you recognized God’s presence and where you were most Christ-like—where did you  cooperate with God’s Spirit of healing and shalom?
  • Also  notice where you were not as cooperative, and perhaps even resistant to the  invitation to abide and follow.
  • Pay  attention to your feelings as you review and reflect, and notice patterns and  choices. Are you being invited to release certain attitudes or behaviors and  embrace others? Ask the Holy Spirit for insight and pray for forgiveness,  healing, reconciliation, or release as needed.
  • Offer  God the next day, asking God to be present in your thoughts, feelings, and  actions. Ask yourself, “Beginning tomorrow (or today), how will I live my life  differently?”
  • Close  your practice with a brief benediction or blessing. Receive God’s grace and  rest.

Questions for Reflection

  • Where have I been complacent in God’s vision of  shalom?
  • Where have I been complicit in a lack of peace  in this world?
  • Looking back over my life, what are my  priorities?
  • Where do my passions mirror the passion of  Christ?

Photo by: Zac Harmon-McLaughlin

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