“The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8
For our last church service of 2019, my church worked through the spiritual practice of Examen. Created by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in the 16th century, this practice is one where we take a quiet moment in our day to reflect on God’s goodness and where he has shown up throughout the day.
We also pause to think about not only the highs but the lows of the day. We pray and ask God to forgive us, to lead and guide us, and then we look forward to tomorrow, praying that God would show up there as well.
I love this idea and was so moved by taking a few moments to quiet my spirit and ask myself a few questions, reflecting over my responses as I wrote them down. There are plenty of questions to ask and different ways to ask them, but here are a few to get you started (following Saint Ignatius’s process):
Before we begin asking questions, we pause and pray, thanking God for his presence in our lives and asking him to lead us in this time, helping us to look back over our entire day and see where he was in the midst of our daily living.
Where did I see God today?
Where did I feel the happiest, most connected, or most alive today? What am I grateful for?
Where did I feel the heaviest, least connected, or least alive today? What emotions do I need to talk through with God?
What should I pray for? Where do I need to ask for forgiveness, healing, or strength?
How do I feel about tomorrow? How can God help me look forward to a new day tomorrow?
These five questions have the power to really change the way we see our days. God is with us throughout them, whether we notice him or not, and I pray that by taking 15 or 20 minutes at the end of the day to pray and reflect with him that we can start to see more of how he’s showing us in our lives. This process is something I plan to implement in my own life this new year, and I’d love to hear if you start using this tool as well!
May you come to know God more in this new year. May you see his goodness in your life and may you learn to process all your experiences with him as your Good Shepherd!