The Prayer of Examen

by Christine Sine

The Mustard Seed team met again this morning for a session on discernment.  We had intended to discuss our spiritual gifts and talents and seek to discern together how we could use these to further the ministry of MSA.  However Ricci Kilmer was unable to join us because Gabriel still has a slight fever so instead we spent our time going through the Jesuit Prayer of Examen. This was a very rewarding exercise in which we found ourselves not only listening more closely to God but also to each other.

This prayer takes about 10 – 15 minutes to complete and provides a process in which we seek to discern the movement of the Spirit of God throughout our day or week.  It is a prayer that draws us into the presence of God and with the intention of discerning how God has interacted with us during the day.  It is not always a comfortable prayer as we must take time to allow God to challenge as well as encourage us.  This is a prayer that requires a response from us.  Sometimes we need to seek forgiveness from others that we have wronged.   At other times there may be a very positive response as we are made aware of God’s enjoyment of our faithfulness.

There are five steps:to the prayer

  1. Recalling we are in the presence of God
  2. Looking over the events of the day with gratitude for the day’s gifts
  3. Inviting the Holy Spirit to help us evaluate our actions and attitudes with honesty and patience
  4. Reviewing the day making yourself aware of where Christ assisted your decisions and where you should have paused to receive his instruction
  5. A heart to heart talk with Jesus sharing your thoughts on your actions, attitudes, feelings and interactions.

I hope that you find this process as helpful as we do.

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