This reflective prayer practice (also
known as the consciousness examen) helps
us discover how God has been present to us throughout the day. It invites us to notice how we have responded
to God's love and call. Practiced regularly, such reflection brings
healing and integration which are essential for deepening faith. Because of its capacity to cultivate noticing
and responding to God, the prayer of awareness is essential preparation for
spiritual discernment—both for individuals and congregations.
1. Prayer of Openness to the Spirit
Begin by asking the Spirit of God to
illuminate your reflections as you think about the events of the day just
past. Ask for wisdom to discern God's
voice and guidance in your life.
You may want to pause and spend a few
moments in quietness before you begin your reflection. Lighting a candle or listening to prayerful
music can help you focus on God's presence.
2. Prayer of Thanksgiving
Look back over the day and become
aware of God's gifts to you. What
nourished you today? What gave you life
or joy or peace? Don't choose what you
think you should be thankful for; instead, simply let the events and people of
the day pass before your mind's eye and give thanks for all
you have been given.
3. Prayer of Confession
Look over the events of the day
again. This time ask for grace to
recognize your weakness, failure and unwholeness. Wait quietly until the Spirit reveals what
needs attention. What struggles did you
face? Where did you fail to respond to
God's gifts? What distracted you from
God, from others, from yourself? When
did you ignore or turn away from God's love? What happened in your relationships with other people? Were you faithful in carrying out your
vocation in the world? How are you being
called to conversion or
Pray for God's Spirit to cleanse you,
heal your brokenness, and set you free to love and serve others. Give thanks for God's faithfulness.
4. Prayer for Guidance
Look ahead to the next day. Offer your hopes and concerns to God. Ask God to supply your needs. Give yourself into God's care, and rest in
the comfort of God's everlasting love.