Yielding Prayer | 07

Written By Joseph Luigs

Associate Pastor - Shawnee Campus

On some days — like today — we invite you to engage in the same practice over multiple weeks. Our desire is that by weekly repetition we do more than have a one-off experience. Rather we build a new spiritual habit. 

The prayer of examen, while it remains mostly the same each week, comes with new life because your life is different this week. With that in mind we are taking eight Saturdays in a row while focusing on the discipline of submission to invite God to work in this life-giving exercise. 

If you have been engaging weekly, you are in week 7 of 8. Keep it up! If you are just now joining us in this journey, welcome! Sometimes God works best in our lives not in the constant chasing after the new, but often in the faithful and regular engagement of the old. May it be so! 

 

Try to take at least 10 minutes at the end of your day to pray. You can do it alone or with your family or roommates. The prayer of examen is a prayer practice in the evening to reflect upon the day.

The Prayer of Examen

It has two functions. First, it causes prayerful reflection on thoughts, feelings, and actions throughout the day to see how God has been present and at work throughout the day. Second, it is a time to be searched by God in the depths of our hearts, to see where we have missed the Lord and sinned in our day. Thus, in both ways, the goal of this evening prayer is to be attentive to our day, not for mere introspection or even resolution, but to see God at work in and around us throughout our day. The prayer of examen has five steps.

 

Step 1: Attentiveness

Take time in silence to remember that you are in the presence of God. God is aware of you, and you are aware of Him. Spend a few moments even controlling your breathing, not being frustrated when you are distracted, but returning your focus to the Lord. Pray from Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Likewise, be reminded of God’s character.

  • THIS WEEK:
    Read and consider Luke 22:39-46. What does this communicate about Jesus’ in his humanity?

Step 2: Thanksgiving
Recall a few things that you were grateful for today. When were you loved? When did you love? Enjoy them. Reflect with thanksgiving to God regarding the good that has taken place.

 

Step 3: Review
Review your day from the moment you woke until this very moment. Give attention to small things and big things. What emotions did you experience? How were you affected by what took place in your day? How was God working? How was He present? Don’t feel the need to fix or resolve anything, just become aware of them before God.

 

Step 4: Repentance
Having reviewed your day, confess specifically your sin in it—the things you have done and the things you have left undone. How have you done wrong to your neighbor? How did you dishonor the Lord? Neglect the Lord? Ask for forgiveness. Then, receive forgiveness and read from 1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

 

Step 5: Grace for Tomorrow
Tomorrow is the Lord’s Day. Pray that the Lord will make the Word proclaimed efficacious for you. Ask the Lord to nourish you by the Word, whether by worship, sacrament, or preaching. Pray also for the people in your gathering, asking that the Word proclaimed will nourish their hearts and minds.

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Submisssion Week 7 of 8

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