Advent Practices – Week 3 – Day 3

THEME: RADICAL GENEROSITY

BREATH PRAYER: LORD, GIVE ME JOY IN BLESSING OTHERS THROUGH RADICAL GENEROSITY.


CENTERING:

“You will recognize Him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:12

SETTLING IN:

  • 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 the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).

Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.

PRACTICE:
PRAYER OF EXAMEN

For a short form of this exercise, follow the prompts in italics.

The Prayer of Examen is a practice to which we have often returned, inviting God to speak into the everyday moments of our lives. It is easily adapted to your rhythm and the questions on your heart, and simple enough to engage in daily.

  • Begin by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, and letting your body grow still. Feel the sensation of air filling your lungs and being exhaled again. It is the very breath of God that fills your lungs. Invite Him to speak to you.
    • Short Form: Sit in silence for one minute, taking long, slow breaths. If your mind wanders, pray the breath prayer.
  • Thoughtfully review the past day in your mind (or the previous day). Watch yourself come and go and speak and listen and work and rest. Thank God for the moments of goodness, joy, and peace you experienced.
    • Short Form: Review the past day in your mind, as if watching a movie of yourself. What signs of God’s goodness were present? Thank God for these moments.
  • Re-thinking the day further, were there times when someone had power, prestige or influence over you? How did you feel about that experience?
    • Short Form: Think of a moment in the past day when someone exercised power, prestige or influence over you. Did you feel supported by this person or subservient to him/her? Were any other strong emotions present?
  • At what point during the day did you have power, prestige or influence over someone else? What might have changed about this experience with a conscious effort on your part to surrender your position of power rather than protect it?
    • Short Form: Was there a time when you had power, prestige or influence over someone? Re-live that experience from the other person’s perspective. How might this interaction have been different with a conscious effort to surrender your position of power?
  • Think forward to the coming day. What opportunities will you have to influence or hold authority over someone? Ask God to help you live out His radical generosity, laying down that power to serve rather than be served. Invite Him to use you to enlarge His Kingdom through generosity.
    • Short Form: Is there a time in the coming day when you will be in a position of authority over someone? Ask God to help you surrender your power in that interaction, and imagine what that might look like in practice.

In your journal, write down a few notes about what the Lord showed you in the Examen of your day.

Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.

Closing: Lord, give me joy in blessing others through radical generosity.


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Photo credit DiEtte Henderson

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