University United Methodist Church - College Park, MD
Saturday, March 23, 2019
We are seeking to be like Christ

Tools for the Journey of Faith

The prayer of Examen & the prayer of the Three Simple Rules.  

In the practice of prayer, an integral part of the prayer experience is to record your thoughts. It is not necessary to write lengthy essays. But to commit your thoughts to paper is truly significant in giving voice to your thoughts and a powerful continuation of the prayer. 

The prayer of Examen comes from St Ignatius of the 16th century. St Ignatius began the Jesuits as an order of the RomanCatholic Church. The form below is one of many contemporary adaptations of St Ignatius’ prayer of Examen.The overall theme is to listen for the Holy Spirit to guide you towards love and generosity. Where are you able to love and begenerous and where are you not?

The Examen

(this prayer is a wonderful prayer any time of day or can be a way of concluding the day. I find this prayer to be especially helpful as a beginning to the day)


             1) be in the presence of God

·      relax, take deep breaths, and simply try to allow yourself to consider that you are in God’s life. Your breath, your heart beat, your awareness, your ability to look at your surrounding is a gift from God. You are uniquely made and loved by God. Be in the presence of God’s love. Meditate on God's love for you.

             2) reflect in gratitude

·      for what are you grateful? Consider your life and the lives of those around you. What in God’s creation makes you grateful? Where do you struggle being grateful?

3) reflect on your emotions

·      What are your emotions this day? Are you hopeful, angry, sad, anxious, frustrated, happy, joyful, disinterested, enthusiastic? 

            4) what is your prayer focus for the day?

·      Consider your prayer so far. What do you feel the spirit calling you to focus on today? Are anxious about certain things and you need the Holy Spirit to guide you to a place of peace? This could be a prayer focus. Are you tired and need rest? Ask for that rest. This too can be a prayer focus.

             5) look forward to the day

·      take time to imagine yourself walking through the day living out your prayer focus and know that the Holy Spirit walks with you, encouraging you and empowering you to become a vessel of God’s love.

The prayer based on the Three Simple Rules of the United Methodist Church.

The following questions can be an excellent guide for an evening prayer. To pray in such a way helps one to be in an attitude of openness to the Holy Spirit. Reflect on the day and ask yourself the three questions below.


The Three Simple Rules

            1) where have I done harm?

            2) where have I done good?

            3) what have I done today to stay in love with God?