Prayer Practices #1: The Examen

Over the next fortnight, Matt will be posting about some different prayer practices to help us continue our exploration of prayer and fasting. The posts will be short and, for the most part, practically-focused.


The Examen

The Examen, based on the writings of Ignatius of Loyola, is a practice of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to discern God’s presence and God’s direction for us. The aim of Examen is not to label actions as good or bad, but to discern the impulses that underlie our actions throughout the day.

There are a number of methods for the Examen, but here is a simple one:

  1. Ask God for light, so that I look back on the day with God’s eyes, not just my own.
  2. Give thanks for the gift of the day I have just lived.
  3. Review the day, carefully looking back, and being guided by the Spirit.
  4. Face my shortcomings, what is wrong in my life and in me.
  5. Look forward to the day to come, asking where we need God tomorrow.

Peace,
Matt

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