The Examen Prayer

God is always present with us. He is always shaping us and forming us. A vital spiritual practice is to notice these realities. How is He present with me? How is He at work around me? How might I more fully participate in His work in my life and in the world around me? As we practice a Daily Examen (first designed by St Ignatius), we can put our lives into context, and we are learning to do this in the moment during our day. The idea is to set aside a period each day (at least once but it could be midday and then in the evening) for this kind of prayer. And the Examen can also be practiced for any time frame (weekly, monthly, annually) or a particular event.

Here is a pattern of prayer for an Examen

Step One: Invite the Lord’s Presence & Ask for Perspective

Quiet yourself, give thanks for the day, and invite Holy Spirit to speak. Ask the Lord for grace to see how He is working in your life.

Step Two: Review the Day

Carefully look back on the day. Recall the events and details, conversations and feelings. What did you experience in your body? What did you give a lot of thought to? What did you experience emotionally?

Step Three: Reflect on the Day

Ask, and take time with the questions:
“What has led me closer to the Lord?”
“What has distracted me or pulled me away from the Lord?”

Step Four: Look Forward to Tomorrow

Ask the question, “Where do I need God’s grace in the day to come?” Pray to receive that grace, and thank the Lord for His abiding presence in your life.
Finally, take a few minutes and sit with the Lord, enjoying His presence and love in your life. As thoughts come to you, gently lay them at His feet - entrusting your life to Him.