BREATH PRAYER: FATHER, transform my heart in this ordinary time.
You created the mountains by your power,
and demonstrated your strength.
You calm the raging seas
and their roaring waves,
as well as the commotion made by the nations.
Even those living in the most remote areas are awestruck by your acts;
you cause those living in the east and west to praise you.
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with silence. Set a timer for 1, 3, or 5 minutes so you can be free to rest and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).
- Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.
Most of the moments of most of our days are actually pretty ordinary when you think about it. Sure, we all have highlights and lowlights that mark our lives, but the majority of our time is spent engaged in ordinary activities like driving, watching TV, doing our jobs, brushing our teeth, mowing the lawn, etc.
Have you ever wondered if God has something to say about those moments? Many of us have asked the Lord how we should handle a large decision or a relational challenge. What would it be like if we sought His presence while we washed the dishes? Today’s Examen is a review of the ordinary as we seek to discern God’s presence in the ordinary moments of the last 24 hours.
Begin this time of Examen by allowing your mind and body to grow quiet. Give yourself time to slow the racing of your thoughts and the fidgeting of your body.
Thinking back through the past day, paying special attention to the time spent on ordinary things. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in His understanding of these moments.
Take notice of any moments when, ordinary as they may have seen at the time, now seem life-giving as you review them. Where do you now see God’s presence in these moments? Thank God for His presence in these moments and make note of them in your journal.
Look back through the ordinary moments of the last 24 hours and notice any of the ordinary moments that, upon review, seemed to drain you. Ask the Lord to show you why you were drained. Is there something that He would have you confess? Is there wounding that you would have Him heal?
Look ahead to the next 24 hours and anticipate the ordinary moments that you are likely to experience. Ask the Lord to show you what it would look like to invite Him into these times.
Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your Examen. How might this experience help you recognize God’s voice in the future?
Closing: Father, transform my heart in this ordinary time.
If you are unsure how to begin listening for God’s voice and leading in your life, listen to this message by Larry Green, given at the Parish. Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or help with these practices.