University United Methodist Church College Park, MD
Sunday, September 24, 2017
We are seeking to be like Christ

Learning to Love Through Prayer

 

A Contemporary Adaptation of St Ignatius’ Prayer of Examen[1]

Introduction: Traditionally this prayer was used in the evenings as a reflection over the day. It has been adapted to also function as a morning prayer to assess and orient the state of one’s spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Journaling as you move through the prayer is especially helpful to make your reflections concrete. 

This prayer's primary purpose is to help you be in touch with the Holy Spirit so as to hear your own truth about your relationship to God and to be able to speak the truth in love to yourself and your neighbor.

 

1.     Be in the presence of God

a.     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

a.     For what are you grateful? Consider your life and the lives and people around you. What or who would you truly miss if it or they were absent from your life? What in God’s creation makes you grateful? Where do you struggle being grateful?

 

3.     Reflect on your emotions

a.     What are your emotions this day? How do you feel? Are you hopeful, angry, sad, anxious, frustrated, happy, joyful, disinterested, enthusiastic, tired, despairing?

 

4.     What is your prayer focus for the day?

a.     Consider your prayer so far. What have you learned about your spiritual and emotional state? This step is the opportunity for you to ask yourself two questions,  

                                              i.      “Is who I am right now who I want to be?” and the second question helps to bring greater focus to the first,

                                            ii.     “How do I want to feel at the end of the day, and how do I want the people around me to feel?”

                                          iii.     Example: Let us say that you woke feeling in a malaise, lacking energy or interest in the day’s affairs. Is this who you want to be as a follower of Christ the rest of the day? Those people that encounter you throughout the day, how do you want them to feel about themselves and you at the end of the day, honored, energized, valued?

b.     How ever you answer these questions becomes your prayer focus

 

5.     Look forward to the day

a.     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.

 



[1] Adapted from St. Ignatius’ prayer and spiritual disciplines.