4.7.15–>”The Examen Prayer” (part 4 of 4)


James 1:22-25

But be people who do the word, not merely people who hear it and deceive themselves. Someone who hears the word but doesn’t do it, you see, is like a man who looks at his natural face in the mirror. He notices himself, but then he goes away and quickly forgets what he looked like. But the person who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and goes on with it, not being a hearer who forgets but a doer who does the deed–such a person is blessed in their doing.

The fifth and final step of the examen is Renewal.

You look forward to the following day and, with God, plan concretely how to live it in accord with God’s loving desire for your life.

We have looked back in order to look ahead. We allow the past to illuminate the future. This is actually learning from our life and tangibly moving forward accordingly for spiritual growth. Again, we don’t do this for the exercise’s sake, but to move toward God in the growth He desires for our lives.

We look forward to tomorrow and what keystone habit we may need to institute, what God is asking us to be aware of, or who to encourage. We look at who we will be with and pray for what is needed there, be it patience, wisdom, self-control.

We are constantly learning from our experiences…if we take the time to reflect on them and proceed out of what we learn from that reflection. Someone said it is not our experiences that change us, but rather our reflection upon them. We go through many experiences every day, every week, all our life. We don’t necessarily grow from them automatically. We can just go through stuff and stay stuck where we are unless we are strategic in looking and learning and changing whatever courses necessary for spiritual progression.

The examen, remember, is a tool. A tool to bring us closer into oneness with God and to clear space for the Holy Spirit to fill. It also serves to  s  l  o  w   u   s    d    o    w    n. And in general, it is always good to slow down and smell the roses. Unless you’re being chased by a puma.

I believe this prayer to be a basic foundational practice that is of utmost value to anyone who really takes it on.


Always, only, for my King

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