40 Day Examen Contemplative Prayer
February 17-April 1, 2021
INTRO TO THE EXAMEN
The prayer of examen is about reflecting on God’s presence in our day. This practice heightens our capacity for seeing God’s presence in our previous day and also increases our sensitivity to the Lord’s presence in the present moment and coming day(s).
The main thing is to reflect on the day in light of our awareness of and responsiveness to God’s presence. To provide a bit more structure and detail, the following can be a guide or framework (but is not a formula; there are various ways the central thrust of the examen can be practiced):
As with any contemplative practice, prepare yourself with a few deep breaths to settle into this time of prayer with openness – mind, heart and body.
God is present – welcome the Holy Spirit’s guidance and pray for God’s light as you reflect on your day and the Lord’s presence with you in it.
Review the Day
As you think through the day what stands out – in your emotions, body and thoughts? How was God present with you today? How did you respond or not respond?
Notice the places in your day that were life-giving. Where were you experiencing love, joy or peace today? What gifts did you receive from God today (even in the ordinary aspects of life: a good meal, a kindness from another person, enjoying God’s creation, a prompting)? Where were you aware or responsive to God’s presence today? Give thanks to God for something specific here.
Notice the places in your day that were draining or tense. Where were you experiencing sadness, stress or apathy today? Where were you not aware or responsive to God’s presence today? Invite God’s grace into these moments. If there is something you need to confess (to God or others), do so with self-compassion in light of God’s compassion and grace.
Offer yourself and the day ahead to the Lord with faith, hope and love. Renew your intention to be aware and responsive to God’s presence tomorrow. God is with – and in – you.
THE EXAMEN AUDIO PROMPTS