By Marlene Kropf
Monday, July 21, 2014

This reflective prayer practice (also known as the consciousness examen) helps us discover how God has been present to us throughout the day. It invites us to notice how we have responded to God's love and call. Practiced regularly, such reflection brings healing and integration which are essential for deepening faith.  Because of its capacity to cultivate noticing and responding to God, the prayer of awareness is essential preparation for spiritual discernment—both for individuals and congregations.

 

1. Prayer of Openness to the Spirit

Begin by asking the Spirit of God to illuminate your reflections as you think about the events of the day just past. Ask for wisdom to discern God's voice and guidance in your life. 

You may want to pause and spend a few moments in quietness before you begin your reflection. Lighting a candle or listening to prayerful music can help you focus on God's presence.

 

2. Prayer of Thanksgiving

Look back over the day and become aware of God's gifts to you.  What nourished you today? What gave you life or joy or peace?  Don't choose what you think you should be thankful for; instead, simply let the events and people of the day pass before your mind's eye and give thanks for all you have been given.

 

3. Prayer of Confession

Look over the events of the day again. This time ask for grace to recognize your weakness, failure and unwholeness. Wait quietly until the Spirit reveals what needs attention. What struggles did you face? Where did you fail to respond to God's gifts? What distracted you from God, from others, from yourself? When did you ignore or turn away from God's love? What happened in your relationships with other people? Were you faithful in carrying out your vocation in the world? How are you being called to conversion or transformation?

Pray for God's Spirit to cleanse you, heal your brokenness, and set you free to love and serve others. Give thanks for God's faithfulness.

 

4. Prayer for Guidance

Look ahead to the next day. Offer your hopes and concerns to God.  Ask God to supply your needs. Give yourself into God's care, and rest in the comfort of God's everlasting love.

 

 

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