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The Prayer of Examen

For centuries those involved in Christian spiritual practices have reflected on their day using the Prayer of Examen.  It was originated by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the 1500’s.  The purpose of this prayer is to reflect on the events of the day and to listen to God’s observations of the day as well.  This can be done silently or by journaling.  

  • Take some time daily – as often as possible – to spend time with God.  This is often a helpful activity to do at the end of the day.  This should be a fairly quick activity – 10-15 minutes.

  • Start with a short reading of scripture, a devotional, or just some quiet time.  You don’t have to do this sitting down.  For some people, walking or moving, doing artwork, or doing something else that has not real goal or purpose is helpful in connecting with God.

  • Begin by getting in touch with how you’re feeling right now.  What words or phrases would you use to describe your current mood.

  • Review your day (if you are doing this in the morning, review yesterday) – the things that happened during the day.  The way you felt.  What you were thinking. What captured your attention.

  • Take some time to let God show you where He was active in your day, even if you didn’t notice His presence.  

  • Write down anything that strikes you.  Periodically you might want to return to your 2020 theme and reflect on how it is playing out.

  • Pray for your day ahead (tomorrow or today depending on when you are doing the activity).  Thank God for His presence and provision.

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