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Prayer of Examen

I now recall the past day. I replay it back in my head like a video tape and examen my actions looking for all the areas where I lived out the life of Christ. I also look for areas where God is teaching me. (Step 4 in the Prayer of Examen)

Last night I tried a new spiritual discipline and it turned out to be very instructive in my relationship with the Lord. For years I have attempted to get back into journaling but it never seems to stick. Maybe it’s because my handwriting is so bad or I’m so used to thinking as I type on a computer, but I can’t seem to get into the habit of journaling.

I found a great website, Examen.me, that leads you through a series of questions that cause us to reflect on our day as if Jesus was sitting right in front of us. The folks at Examen.me explain it this way, “The Prayer of Examen allows you to reflect and recall your day while examining how you live life in the presence of the Lord. By slowing down and examining your day, the Lord has the opportunity to reveal to you specific areas where you are and are not living in His presence.”

For me this prayer was a great way for me to look back on my day and see where God was working. It is hard to take the time to reflect like this but it is very valuable. It’s online which means I can do it from anywhere and I don’t have to endure my bad handwriting. Last night, through the instruction of the Holy Spirit, I was able to see things that I would have never noticed had I not slowed down to reflect.

If you are looking for a new way to reflect on your day and examine where God was working, check out the Prayer of Examen.

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Variety in Spiritual Disciplines

My parents ingrained in my head from an early age that an important part of following Christ is spending time with him daily in solitude.  Given my personality, I need to add variety to these times so they don’t become an empty ritual.  I thought I would just share with you some of the elements I have added to this time recently.  My hope is that they might help you connect on a deeper level with the Lord.

Biography/Journal Reading I am currently reading Henri Nouwen’s journal from the last year of his life.  It is a breath of fresh air to read the inner thoughts and struggles of a man who is revered for his faith and wisdom.  It is encouraging to know that another person has the same thoughts of insecurity and unworthiness that go through my mind.  Find out more about the book here.

Praying the Liturgy of the Hours There are a great many practices of the Catholic Church that can enhance our spiritual walk as Protestants and the Liturgy of the Hours is one of them.  The Liturgy of the Hours is a mix of prayers, hymns and Scripture readings to be recited at specific hours of the day. Personally I download the podcasts and listen to them on my mobile device.  Find out more about the Liturgy of the Hours here.

Five Minute Retreat A college friend of mine, Ed Cyzewski, is writing a series of blog posts devoted to giving his readers a daily five minute retreat.  I love how Ed weaves breathing exercises, contemplation and Scripture into these exercises. Here is the Five Minute Retreat for today which focuses on peace.