The Prayer of Exammen is a daily spiritual exercise developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola. This practice seeks to grow follows of Jesus in Their capactiy to discern God’s, will, find God in all things, and enhance their understandingof God’s good creation. The prayer may take Between 20 and 30 minutes. The majoirty of that time will be spend reviewing your day. Try not to dwell too long on thoughts. Instead allow yourself to become aware and move on. Begin by finding a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Then sit comfortably. Allow yourself to relax and close your eyes if you like
1. Recall you are in the presence of God. As you sit in silence Focus on God’s deep and abiding love for you. We are always in the presence of God. Try to become aware of God’s presence in an attentive way.
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you recall your day with gratitude. Remember the small pleasures of your day: things like a good night;s sleep, A good conversation, or a beautiful sunset. These are all gifts from God, and this practice fosters and “attitude of gratitude”. How did you bring your Strengths,, your sense of humor, your abilities, your encouragement, or your patience to others today? Thank God for these things.
3. Ask the Holy Spirit for the capacity to recall your day with clarity and an understanding of your limitations. Review Your day. This is the central and longest step of the prayer. Go back to the start of your day and allow it to play like a short movie In your mind. Pay attention to the details. What were your feelings? What motivated you to respond to certain situations In the way you did? The purpose of this is to draw out the positive and the negative aspects of your day.
As you review your day, as “Where did I fail today?”. When did I live out of anger or bitterness, or avoid, or operate in stinginess. Don’t Dwell on these things. Simply identify them and move on.
Next ask the questions, “When did I love?” Perhaps it was a kind act like holding the door or spending intentional time with your family. Remember the ways that you chose to love this day.
Next, search for any patterns or habits during the course of the day. Do you make coffee at the same time? Do you chat for a few minutes With a co-worker? Are you always staying late at work? As you detect these patterns, what emotions do you sense coming to the surface For each habit? Do these habits help you face your day with love? Do they hinder love?
4. Reconcile and Resolve: Finally, picture yourself sitting next to Jesus, talking as you would with a friend. Share how you are feeling after doing this Exercise from your heart. Perhaps there are things you do not feel good about – ask him to help you. Also remember the good moments of your Day and give thanks.
End with the Lord’s Prayer…
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory, For ever and ever.