THEME: Finding a Rhythm
BREATH PRAYER: Jesus, help me slow down and experience Your goodness
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read these words slowly (aloud or silently):
“Unless the Lord builds the house, their labor is in vain who build it. Unless the Lord watches over the city, in vain the watchman keeps his vigil. It is in vain that you rise so early and go to bed so late; vain, too, to eat the bread of toil, for he gives to his beloved sleep.”
Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.
prayer of examen
The Prayer of Examen is an ancient practice for reviewing a certain amount of time, usually the past 24 hours or less. In reviewing our day, we express gratitude for the gifts of God, noticing particularly strong emotions, and examining other experiences or memories God causes to stick in our minds. When we take time to reflect through tools like the Examen, we can often recognize God’s guidance and teaching even more than we do in the moment. Use the steps below to pray today’s Prayer of Examen:
- Begin by getting still and remembering that God is with you. Ask God to walk with you as you review the past 24 hours, revealing your day from His perspective rather than your own.
- Think back through the past day as if you were watching a movie in your mind. As you do, look for glimpses of His joy and goodness and thank God for those moments.
- In your review, did you notice any times of hurry? Were there times you moved through your day in a rushed fashion? Where there times when you appeared to move at a healthy pace, but your heart felt hurried? Ask God for His insight into these situations and the circumstances that led to them. If you have anything to confess to the Lord, do so and receive His forgiveness and love.
- As you remember your day, were there any moments where your pace of life seemed restful or refreshing? What do you notice about those times? Were there any specific places or people involved? Thank God for these moments, recognizing them as a gift from the Father. If you can’t remember any of these moments, why do you think that might be the case?
- Think about the day ahead. What events or situations are you about to encounter? Is there anything that might tempt you to live in a hurried way and miss the presence of the Lord? How might you intentionally plan moments of rest or refreshing in your day? As you think of each part of your day, offer it to the Lord and ask Him to be near to you and provide what you need.
Digging Deeper: When a protegee of author Dallas Willard asked him, “What do I need to do to be spiritually healthy?” Willard simply replied, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” As you look back on your times of hurry from yesterday, could any of those times have been “ruthlessly eliminated”? Are there any changes in your day-to-day life that the Lord might be inviting you to consider, even if they seem far-fetched or difficult? Ask the Lord to reveal to you what He might have you do to eliminate the presence of hurry, and make note of His answers in your journal. After that, ask for His help in eliminating hurry from today.
Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your reflection.
Closing: Lord, thank you that, though the world seems to move frantically around me, You are never in a hurry. Jesus, help me slow down and experience Your goodness.