Lent Practices – Week 5 – 3.12.2018

THEME:Subtracting Independence, Gaining Freedom

BREATH PRAYER: Lord, help me subtract my independence and surrender to You.


CENTERING:

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which He loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.
Ephesians 2:5

SETTLING IN:

  • In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
  • Open with silence. Set a timer for 1, 3, or 5 minutes so you can be free to 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:
EXAMEN

We regularly practice the Prayer of Examen as a way to review God’s activity in our lives. Often, we think back through the last 24 hours or so, observing it from an outside perspective as we look for God’s hand. Examen can also be helpful for reviewing shorter time spans, which is how we’ll exercise this spiritual discipline today.

Begin by praying this week’s breath prayer, silently or aloud, three times: Lord, help me subtract my independence and surrender to You.

When you think through your day so far (or the previous day if it’s early in the morning), what period of time stands out in your mind as important? A conversation, a date with your spouse, disciplining your children, a task you attempted, an experience with friends? Take a few minutes to put yourself back in that situation, remembering what was said and how you felt.

As you remember, do you see any instances of God giving you an opportunity to subtract your independence and surrender to Him? How did you respond to that opportunity?

Thank God for guiding your thoughts in this practice. Ask Him what He would like to tell you about this situation. Write whatever comes to mind in your journal, even if you question whether it’s from God or not.

Looking ahead to the rest of your day, ask God to highlight an upcoming time when you might have a chance to subtract your independence and surrender to Him. Invite Him to stay beside you and lead you through it.

When that experience has come and gone, pray the Examen over it, asking God to show you how He was at work.

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

Closing: Lord, help me subtract my independence and surrender to You.


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Image: Peter Paul Rubens via The Wellcome Collection

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