THEME: EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND CONTEMPLATIVE SPIRITUALITY OFFER A SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION IN OUR LIVES.
BREATH PRAYER: LORD, REFRESH MY SOUL WITH YOUR NEARNESS AND LOVE.
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read these words slowly (aloud or silently):
You know what I long for, Lord; you hear my every sigh. (Psalms 38:9)
Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.
[A “breath prayer” is a short prayer that is meant to be repeated, often as we breathe in and out. This ancient practice helps quiet our noisy minds and remember that God is near. To pray the breath prayer, simply sit comfortably and close your eyes, repeating the phrase silently as you breathe in and out. After allowing this prayer to help you fully rest in the moment, continue on with the day’s practice.]
PRAYER OF EXAMEN
The Prayer of Examen is an ancient practice for reviewing a certain amount of time, usually the past 24 hours or less. In reviewing our day, we express gratitude for the gifts of God, noticing particularly strong emotions, and examining other experiences or memories God causes to stick in our minds. When we take time to reflect through tools like the Examen, we can often recognize God’s guidance and teaching even more than we do in the moment. Use the steps below to pray today’s Prayer of Examen:
- Begin by getting still and remembering that God is with you. Ask God to walk with you as you review the past 24 hours, revealing your day from His perspective rather than your own.
- Think back through the past day as if you were watching a movie in your mind. As you do, look for glimpses of His joy and goodness, and thank God for those moments.
- In your review, did you notice any “difficult” emotions like anger, fear, sadness, weakness, or vulnerability? Are there times you covered up or brushed off these emotions? Are there any situations you’d rather not remember or dwell on? Ask God for His insight into these feelings and the situations that elicited them. If you have anything to confess to the Lord, do so and receive His forgiveness and love.
- Think about the day ahead. What events or situations are you about to encounter? Is there anything that causes you joy or fear? As you think of each part of your day, offer it to the Lord and ask Him to be near to you and provide what you need.
Digging Deeper: Ask God to bring to mind one experience or emotion of the previous day that He wants to speak into. It may be the first thing that comes to mind, or it may take longer, but you’ll know when it’s the one. Imagine yourself taking this moment to the throne of Christ and laying it before Him. What does He say to you about it? Is there anything He would have you do in response?
- Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what you discovered during your time of reflection.
- Closing: Father, thank You for hearing me when I call. Teach me to present my requests to You and wait expectantly for You to come. Thank You that we are never alone, never left to fend for ourselves, never separated from Your limitless love. Amen.