One way way to pray is to look for God’s presence in your daily life.
More than 400 years ago St Ignatius Loyola encouraged prayer-filled mindfulness by proposing what has been called the Daily Examen. The Examen is a practice intended to bring us into a deeper awareness of God’s presence and leading in our everyday life.
When we pray the Examen, we review our day with God. There are five parts.
Take a deep breath and remember God is always present with you. God loves you right where you are. Breathe, and just be. Rest, in this loving presence.
Second: Review your day with Gratitude.
Think back on the past day. What are some things you are grateful for? Think of people you interacted with, tasks you took part in, food you ate, sights you saw, any small pleasures.
Pause and give thanks for these gifts.
Third: Pay attention to your Emotions as you review your day.
One of St Ignatius’s great insights was that we detect the presence of the Spirit of God in the movements of our emotions. Reflect on the feelings you experienced during the day. Was there Boredom? Joy? Resentment? Compassion? Anger? Confidence? What is God saying in these emotions?
Does a feeling of frustration perhaps mean that God wants you to consider a new direction in some area of your life? Are you feeling concern for a friend? Perhaps God is prompting you to reach out to your friend.
Fourth: Respond in prayer.
From the review of your day, choose a moment or emotion or experience that stands out to you. Have a conversation with God about it. St Ignatius encouraged people to talk with Jesus like a friend. Allow your words to be spontaneous from your heart—whether it is praise, intercession, repentance, or gratitude.
And Fifth, the last step: Look ahead to tomorrow.
What’s coming up in your day ahead? What emotions surface as you think about tomorrow? Allow these feelings to turn into prayer, asking for God’s guidance, help, understanding and hope.
And remember, God is with you and loves you.
Prepared by June Rogers 10-14-20
A script for video segment of The Grove Planting Project alternative worship 10-18-20
Video loop from theworkofthepeople.com