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The Examen Prayer of St Ignatius

End of the day Prayer Reflection 

This Lent, consider trying this simple but helpful prayer practice to raise your awareness of God’s presence throughout your day. This prayer form, from St. Ignatius of Loyola is called the Examen Prayer. What you are examining, is your own experience of God’s movements in the various moments of your day. This Lent, ask God to be with you as you look back over each day.

Step 1: Be Still

Create a few minutes of quiet time for yourself, center in on the moment. ‘Be still and know…’

Step 2: Ask to be accompanied

Ask God to be with you as you look back over your day. Ask for help to be able to see God at work in it.

Step 3: Rewind through the day …

  • Starting from the time you woke up … slowly play back through the day … the people you met … what you did … relationships … commitments
  • Try first to picture the good things, the smiles, laughter, a good piece of work well done, an interesting conversation …
  • On the whole, has it been a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ day?
  • Was it fairly ‘normal’ or somehow ‘unusual’, did anything ‘special’ happen?
  • How were my feelings in all that happened? Joyful, Angry, Fearful?
  • What caused those feelings?

God also communicates through feelings. Normally the way of God is peaceful and consoling. But sometimes, difficult challenges can also be invitations to deepen our trust in God. The better we come to understand our feelings and where they are coming from, the better we’ll be able to see the subtle movement of God in our lives.

Step 4: Ask for forgiveness ….

  • Turning more specifically to the ‘negative events’ in the day …
  • Was I neglectful or someone? Hurtful? Impatient? Judgmental?
  • Was I too hard on myself, where was I feeling hurt, maybe without anyone noticing?
  • Might I have been blind to the beauty in nature, ungrateful for something that was good and life giving today?

Step 5: Hopeful re-commitment

  • I want to do better, to respond better to needs of others – be more conscious that God is also in them. I look forward to the time ahead, to noticing God at work, and responding to each invitation to act with love in the small things and moments of every day.

Closing Prayer: Prayer for Generosity

  • Lord, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to seek reward, except that of knowing that I do your will. 

St. Ignatius Loyola


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