Prayer - The Daily Examen
This weekend at our church retreat, I taught a helpful prayer method that can help us abide in the presence of God on a more regular basis. Spiritual Director Dan Wilt has broken it down into easily memorized steps for us and I have pasted it below. I hope you make this part of your abiding relationship with God.
- Be Still – become aware of the presence of God. Become aware of the presence of God, with you and in you. Use a breath prayer (Richard Foster, Eastern Orthodox tradition), if it helps you, praying as you breathe in, “You are here, Lord” and as you breathe out, “And I am with You.”
- Give Thanks – review the past hours with thankfulness. Review the past 3 hours (or the space between this examen and the last) and give thanks for every detail you can think of. “That kind word,” “That answered prayer,” “That painful email that gives me another opportunity to trust You,” “The taste of that coffee,” “The provision to get gas this morning,” “That dream that showed me where my heart is at,” “That music I listened to,” “That physical pain that is awakening me to my need to stretch more.” Get good at identifying the details, and the gift within them. Nothing is too small to be grateful for.
- Reflect – become aware of your emotions. Ask, “How am I coming to this moment?” Name the emotion you are feeling, or the various ones you felt over the past hours. Then, give each one to the Lord. Invite Him into those emotions, and welcome Him to turn them toward His ends. You can also ask yourself here, “Did I choose Jesus’ way in that situation?” If you did choose Jesus’ way in a situation, rejoice. If not, examine your heart for sin, and choose to make amends.
- Pray – choose one feature of the day so far, and pray. Then turn your heart to choose one joy, or sorrow, or area to pray about. Give it to the Lord completely.
- Hope – look toward the next hours with expectation. Tell the Lord that you hope in Him for the next hours ahead. See the next tasks with expectation that God will be good, that you will notice His work in the situation, and that His will – will be done. Pray “Let Your Kingdom come, let Your will be done.” End with trust. Reorient to trust.