The Prayer of Examen

The Prayer of Examen is an ancient method of seeking God in our daily lives.  It was developed over 400 years ago by Saint Ignatius Loyola and is intended to be used at the end of each day. The prayer involves five steps, which are listed below.  The above chart illustrates the flow of the prayer.  With a commitment to pray every day and a little practice, we can all begin to see God’s presence in our lives!
  1. Begin with Thanksgiving
Simply thank God for his blessings.  Even in our most difficult times, God is present with us.  Starting off with gratitude opens us up to receiving God’s goodness.
  1. “L” is for Light                                                
You wouldn’t look for your car keys in a dark room without turning on the light.  In the same way, we ought to seek God in the Light.  Invite the Holy Spirit to come and illuminate your heart and mind so that your prayer time will be effective and meaningful.
  1. “R” is for Review
Think through the events of your day.  This need not be complicated or drawn out.  Simply recall the important moments, both good and bad.  It may help to actually write out the parts of your day that
come to mind.
  1. “R” is for Respond   
The events that you have reviewed now demand a response.  The arrows on the chart indicate that our response is not always the same.  Positive experiences cause us to rejoice while negative ones may drive us to pray intently over a situation or help us realize our need to confess and repent of our own sin.
  1. “F” is for the Future
Now that the current day has been viewed in the light of the Spirit, we turn our attention to tomorrow.  Pray over what is coming up.  It may be an exciting day or one that causes anxiety.  In either case, take the opportunity to pray over tomorrow today!