This is a simplified form of an ancient prayer. This prayer can be done each evening, you can pray by yourself, with a partner or with everyone in your household:
REVIEW the day – what where the hi’s and lo’s – or – what are you grateful for or not grateful for in this day. allow the Holy Spirit to be your guide.
REFLECT on your feelings from the day and ask God to help you find what you can learn from it.
RENEW your focus as you are thankful fo today and ask God for guidance and strength for whatever tomorrow brings.
the examen in a nutshell
The examen is a method of reviewing your day in the presence of God. A great way to pray is to look for God’s presence in your life. More than 400 years ago St. Ignatius of Loyola encouraged prayer-filled mindfulness by proposing what has been called the Daily Examen. It is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and to discern his direction for us. Most people do this at the end of the day for 15-20 minutes.
- BECOME AWARE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD. Pray for light. Begin by asking God for the grace to pray, to see and to understand.
- REVIEW THE DAY WITH GRATITUDE. Gratitude is the foundation of our relationship with God. Walk through your day in the presence of God and note its joys and delights.
- PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR EMOTIONS. Guided by the Holy Spirit, look back on your day. Reflect on the feelings you experienced during the day, look for God in your day.. Ask what God is saying through these feelings.
- CHOOSE ONE FEATURE FROM THE DAY AND PRAY FROM IT. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that GOD thinks is particularly important. It may be a vivid moment or something that seems insignificant. Ask forgiveness for your failures and shortcomings and ask God to show you ways to improve..
- LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEXT DAY. Ask God to give you light and strength and hope for tomorrow’s challenges.
Simple? yes. Easy? not really. Life -changing? Absolutely, but it is up to you! St. Ignatius encouraged people to talk to Jesus like a friend. Finish the Daily Examen with a conversation with Jesus. Ask forgiveness for your sins. Ask for his protection and help. Ask for his wisdom about the questions you have and the problems you face. Do all this in the spirit of gratitude.
GOD is not remote from us. He is at the point of my pen, my pick, my paint-brush, my needle – and my heart and my thoughts.
Pierre Teilhard de chardin, SJ, Hymn of the Universe
One way to pray is the examen is to focus on one feeling you’ve had recently and ask God to show you what it means. Ask God to reveal what’s behind this emotion. By asking God what our emotions mean, we make them vehicles of grace instead of unruly passions that can take us down.
The examen is an exercise in finding God in your life as you are living it right now. God doesn’t work with what was, or what should have been or what might be, GOD WORKS WITH WHAT IS.
FOR MORE ON EXAMEN
The Examen Prayer, by Timothy M Gallagher, OSV.
A simple life-changing prayer, discovering the power of St. Ignatius Loyola’s Examen, by Jim Manney.