Locating God’s presence this past year.

reflection
image source: Biblicalleadership.com

Locating God’s presence this past year.
(The Grand Prayer of Examen)

  1. Look Back
    – Look over the past 6 – 12 months.
    – Where has the Lord been present and at work in my life?
    – What significant changes have come my way?
    – When have I been the most stressed? the most blessed, and full of joy?
    – What can I give thanks to God for?
    – Where have I been?
    – Where am I now?
  2. Look through
    – Identify any patterns, connections or themes that have characterized the past 6-12 months.
    – If you can, summarize the past year in a sentence or two.
    – Do you notice anything or patterns? specific thought patterns or emotions?
    – Ask the Lord about these patterns. How do they line up with the fruit of Holy Spirit?
  3. Look forward
    – Where do you sense God leading you forward?
    – What do you sense your spirit needs in this season?
    – What are your hopes and dreams for this coming year? Ask the Lord what His hopes and dream are for you!
    – Paint a picture of what you envision over the next six months.
    – What are you asking the Lord for in the new year? for your community, your family?
  4. Look around
    – What does your community need? How can you pray for them, help them?
    – Consider a prayer walk through your neighbourhood to help you see.
    – Who are the people you can intentionally walk with?
    – What community support do you need in this season of your life?
    – Who are the people you need to invite to walk alongside you?
    – Who are the people you can intentionally walk with?
    – How can others best support you?

Prayer prompts:

God, still my heart and mind. 

I am silent in your presence. 

You are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are fully here with me. 

Father, I look back on my year. 

Thank you for… (list off people, provision…)

God, help me to see where you were present and working in and around me… 

 …I bend my heart to you. Show me where I need to ask for your forgiveness and receive your grace. (If He brings things to mind, take time to do so.)

In humility, and renewed vision, faith and courage, I look toward the new year coming. I commit what I know and not know to you Lord. I ask for your discernment. Help me through your Holy Spirit to know you more deeply, to better love, serve, and lead others with your guidance and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

 

Scriptures for Reflection:

Psalm 103:2-5 (NLT)

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

 

Psalm 139:1-7 (NLT)

O Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!

 

Psalm 51:10-12 (NLT)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
    and don’t take your Holy Spirit[a] from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.

 

I bless you with a new year of greater intimacy with your loving Heavenly Father, rich in Holy Spirit fruit, in the name of Christ Jesus! Amen!

Sources:

The Prayer Of Examen, Ignatian Spirituality

The Psalms, NLT

The Grand Examen – Locating God’s Presence in 2017 : New Life Fellowship Church – New York

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZAauF3laXQ

 

A New Year’s Prayer

A New Year’s Prayer (from AllAboutGod.com)

Lord, my precious Savior and God, help me turn to You through this New Year’s prayer. May I be grateful for every breath. Dear Lord, as circumstances and issues came against me last year and have followed me into this New Year, I cry out to You. Empower me with Your Holy Spirit to overcome these obstacles with a good perspective, realizing You allow trials in my life to mold me into the image of Your marvelous Son.

I need a Father to truly love and care for me. You are that Daddy, though at times I don’t feel Your presence. Remind me that You will never leave or forsake me. Teach me to find rest for my troubled heart. Lord, let Your Word renew my mind day after day in this New Year. Protect me from the enemy who is on the prowl to devour me.

This New Year, help me trust in You rather than be clothed with discouragement. My desire is to follow You wholeheartedly this New Year. Let my mind be renewed, refreshed, and returned to the joy of Your salvation.

Heavenly Father, let me be not only a hearer of Your Word, but also a doer, practicing Your teachings, no longer quenching the Holy Spirit. Cause me to act on opportunities instead of apathetically overlooking them. This readiness involves praising and worshipping You with a pure heart.

This New Year, I trust Your closeness and care. I have no need for fear because You lavish Your love on me. My Father, I purpose to know more and more of You, seeking Your Kingdom and reign over my life. May my actions prove I treasure the Holy Spirit indwelling inside me.

Let this New Year and the following years consist of You reign in me. Let me take the time daily to lift Your name on high. Let me realize all the marvelous gifts that come from above: rain, sunshine, blessings. Then, I will bless You with all my soul.

May my mind focus on heavenly priorities: loving You and my neighbor. Lord, this New Year let me walk in humility, serving You, loving You, giving You glory and honor every day. Each day of this New Year may I acknowledge You in everything and for everything. I thank You for the work You do inside me by Your love, power, and might.

Thank You for this New Year. Let me do according to Your good pleasure and purpose, pleasing You in every area of this life. Thank You for Your mercy which makes all things new each morning — even after a day of failure.

Father, thank You for adopting me as Your child. In this New Year, I cry Abba Father, thanking you for restoring a right relationship with me through the cross. Conform and transform me unto all godliness through the burdens and blessings You allow to cross my path.

Lord, thank You for hearing my prayer. You care intimately for me. May this New Year be truly about You – May I be all about God in my actions and attitudes. From this New Year’s prayer, let me not forget to listen carefully to You. Give me eyes to see and a heart to do Your will this New Year and each and every New Year to come.

Amen!

Source: A New Year’s Prayer.