How To Pray the Examen Prayer

imag0079Here is an example of how you can pray the examen during an Hour of Adoration or a longer time of prayer—perhaps in the evening.

1. Place Yourself in God’s Presence

This is a moment like that of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor: Jesus is here before you, wishing to bathe you in the radiance of his love, wanting to speak to you. This is a moment of very personal encounter between you and Jesus. Take this moment to rest in the light of his gaze of unconditional love for you. Allow his love to fill you—perhaps with awareness of his presence, or peace, or joy—whatever grace he wishes to give you at this moment.

2. In Gratitude

In the light of his love, look over your day or the past week, with gratitude. What are the gifts you have received this day/week? Give thanks to God for the blessings that immediately spring to mind. Now look deeper. Have you received a special grace this day or week for which you want to thank God? A hidden gift that you took for granted until now? Or a little joy that reminded you of how loved you are? Remember also to thank God for the special gifts that he has given you, in your person—whether it’s a talent to serve or to cook, or to listen, or your patience, or a gift to encourage others… Thank God for these gifts.

3. Petition

Confident in God’s desire to draw you closer to himself, now ask the Holy Spirit to come into your heart and to help you gently look over the day or week in the light of his grace and your response to his grace.

4. Gently Review Your Day/Week

Look through your life in these days/week. A particular event might spring to mind right away—that might be God’s invitation to spend some time with him reflecting on it. If nothing comes to mind, look through the events of your day, especially noticing what’s going on inside of you—your motivations and feelings.

Good questions to ask yourself:

  • When did you feel loved today? How were you able to show love to someone else?
  • What drew you closer to God today?
  • What drew you away from God today?
  • What kind of moods were present in you today? Why?
  • What regrets do you carry for today?
  • Where were God’s invitations to you today? How did you respond?
  • Do any events seem to be unfinished, requiring some reflection or making you feel uncomfortable, angry, or fearful? How might God be inviting you in this situation?

5. Renewal of love and resolve

Express whatever is in your heart to Jesus—how you feel about the events of this day or week, how you have grown closer to him, asking forgiveness for your sinfulness and failures. In a particular way, ask him to be with you in the coming day or week.

Close with a prayer for the grace to live in his love, such as the Our Father.

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