Day six of our one-week commitment
to the ancient Prayer of Examen.
Recall that the Prayer of Examen is an ancient Christian spiritual practice to help you remember that in the past 24 hours God has been active and present in your life. On Monday, November 9, we provided a brief and basic introduction to the prayer's background and four steps. You might find it useful to review that introduction on your sixth day of engaging the Prayer of Examen.
Sunday, in our worship, we were reminded that Paul made a choice to focus on Jesus Christ and His crucifixion. He did not focus on his trembling and fear. He “resolved” to look to Jesus and the sacrifice made so that Paul had the Holy Spirit to give Him strength and allow the people to understand. Have you taken time this day or even this week to praise God for this gift of Jesus? Have you made an effort to move past what is causing fear and trembling in your life and resolve to focus on Jesus? Where would you be if God had not loved you so much that He would send His Son to be crucified to pay your debt for sin? Worship Him today for this amazing gift!
STEP ONE: PRESENCE
- The best you can, turn down the distracting noise around you so you can turn up the power of reflection.
- Find a comfortable location. Settle into it.
- Be there in that relatively quiet and comfortable place and moment. Do not rush past this.
- Perhaps say a brief phrase from scripture to help center your attention on the presence of God. For example, “I rejoice in your love!”
STEP TWO: GRATITUDE
- As your distractions subside and your focus increases, pray this prayer: "Present God, in these moments, please remind me of all the goodness I have received because of your presence and your sacrifice."
- Now that you are centered and focused, in what small and big ways was God active in your life in the past 24 hours?
- What were the circumstances and situations surrounding God's activity? What was happening in your life? What was going on in you and around you?
- Where did you step outside of God’s will and then recognize that it is only by His amazing grace that you can still remain in His presence?
- Take a moment to write at least one of these moments in your journal.
- Take another moment to express your gratitude to God.
STEP THREE: REVIEW
- In the last 24 hours, where did you get a chance to see God's love and grace at work?
- In the last 24 hours, in what ways did you get beyond your fear and trembling and focus instead on God’s goodness and love towards you and those around you?
- In the last 24 hours, how many times did you remember that you are saved by God’s grace? Sustained by His mercy? Empowered by His Holy Spirit?
STEP FOUR: RESPONSE
- Having spent some time remembering how much God loves you, you might want to respond through song and praise. Use these words from Psalm 115:1 “Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”
- You might find it necessary to confess that you have taken His gift of grace and mercy for granted. You might need to confess that you are acting like a spoiled child who feels entitled to His love and grace instead of like the beggar that you really are who is entitled to nothing.
- You might want to ask God to open your eyes to fully see the gift you have in knowing Him. You might want to ask Him to increase your willingness to focus on Jesus and not yourself.
- How can you make your time with Him more about who He is than what He can do for you? How can you praise Him more?vHow can you spend more time in His word so that you know Him more?
- God promises that when we draw close to Him, He will draw close to us. Would you be willing to prayerfully consider coming to the Nor Cal Prayer Summit, January 28 – 30, 2016? Making a commitment to spend this time with God will transform your worship and deepen your knowledge of who He is.
- Information about the Prayer Summit can be found at http://www.strategicrenewal.com/nor-cal-prayer-summit/