A Gentle Path of the Examen

The Prayer of Examen is a spiritual exercise that has been prayed at the end of each day for centuries.

The purpose of this exercise is to remind believers of His holy presence and that He is moving us from darkness to light. We are invited to review our day with “spiritual eyes” and see how we have encountered the Lord Jesus in the everyday circumstances of life.

It is intended to help us grow in our awareness of God’s action; notice our responses to his movement; and become aware of our own sin which moves us away from His will.

This exercise is intended encourage you and not leave you discouraged and forsaken.

THE FIVE MOVEMENTS OF THE EXAMEN                                                                                 (pray each evening)                                                                                                                             (Ideally this exercise will take 10 -15 min. to complete)

1. Become aware of God’s presence

Father, you have promised that “the Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Ps. 145:8) Lord, come near and let me feel your presence fully because “with you is the fountain of life; in your light, we see light.” (Ps. 36:9) Give me your light so that I might see truth.

2. Review the day with Gratitude

Lord, help me to fully realize that all that I am and all that I do is from you, God. Help me to review my day from a place of humility because only the poor in spirit can appreciate the slightest gift and feel genuine gratitude. Today, I am grateful for…..

3. Recollection of the day

Lord, give me your gentleness and mercy as I recollect my day. Lord, bring to my remembrance:

  • The happenings of today:                                                                                                           •My actions, motives and feelings
  • The occasions when I chose my will and my way instead of God’s will and God’s way.
  • The Reflections of Christ’s love?                                                                                                 •Was I a visible sign of God’s presence and love to those who I encountered?                   •Was I aware of God’s work in my life, in my community and in the world?
  • The Incongruent Reflections?                                                                                                     •When were my actions or words a poor reflection of the nature of Christ?                     •Is there some part of my life untouched by Jesus where He is calling for heart transformation?                                                                                                                         •Did I build a barrier to God’s presence/love?

4. Response: Confession

Lord, help me to realize that this awareness of my shortcomings and failures is a gift from you that can serve to draw me nearer to Christ. Only when I see my own imperfections, do I come to see Your perfection and Your enormous gift of grace.

Father, today I claim your forgiveness for you have told us that when we sin, “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins…[So when] we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

(1 John 1-2) So Lord, I confess….. Please forgive me Father and make me clean.

5. Hopefulness:

Lord, with you there is always a tomorrow. Because of your love, I am redeemed and made new. Protect me from wallowing in my past mistakes and help me to claim victory in Christ and to “press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own…forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, [as] I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:12-14)

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