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

 

Five Prayer Focuses of Examen (End of the Day Reflection)

During my sabbatical, I’ve enjoyed this reflective prayer exercise. It has helped me to re-embrace journalling as a spiritual discipline and given me an outlet of expressing to the Lord my emotions and thoughts surrounding my day… Scriptures are listed for each section to use as prompting…

Five Prayer Focuses of Examen (End of the Day Reflection)

1. Listening:

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. I ask for your Spirit to guide me in discernment and guide my response in this time of prayer…

Psalm 62:5; John 15:4,5; Psalm 119:125; James 1:5

2. Thanksgiving:

Father, I look back on my day. I am grateful for… (list wonderful or difficult moments, extraordinary, ordinary…) Thank you for… (be honest, authentic and faith-filled.)

Psalm 16:11; Psalm 100:1-5; Psalm 100; Colossians 2:6-7; Hebrews 11:1-4

3. Noticing:

God, help me to see where you were present and working in and around me… I want to see where you were drawing me, nudging me, and moving in other people and events. God, what are you asking of me…?

Psalm 66:5; Psalm 139; Matthew 11:25-30; Hebrews 10:24

4. Forgiveness:

God, look into my emotions, thoughts and actions this day. Was there anything that did not honour you or serve others well? …I bend my heart to you. I ask for your forgiveness and receive your grace.

Psalm 139:23-24; Psalm 51; Isaiah 30:18; Ephesians 4:32

5. Looking Forward:

In this time of prayer, Father, I am in your presence and I receive your gift of grace. In humility, and renewed vision, faith and courage, I look toward the new day 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.

Exodus 33:14; Psalm 37:23-24; Galatians 5:25; Romans 8:15-19; Psalm 25:4-5

Adapted from: Jan Kern, www.PresenceNow.Be