June 22, 2016 – Prayer of Examen

Rev. Jeff Gannon

You can listen to the whole of the sermon by going to our Chapel Hill website, but I wanted to highlight the prayer of examen. Several have asked me for how to practice this prayer.

First, please remember the purpose of this prayer is the transformation of the mind. The mind is naturally given toward negativity. The brain is like Velcro when it comes to negativity and like Teflon when it comes to positivity. In fact, when you hear something positive, you have to stay with it for at least 12 seconds or it will be easily forgotten.

So, to experience the truth of Romans 12:2, Philippians 4:6-9, and Matthew 3:2, we enter into a prayer experience by doing the following….

  1. Pray and say Psalm 139:1-3
  2. Sit in silence for at least 5 minutes and ask God for light. What are the thoughts that come up in your head?
  3. Give thanks – where did I notice/see God today? Pay attention to the little things.
  4. Review the day – pay attention to your feelings. Ask two very important questions:
    1. Consolations – when did I feel most alive today?
    2. Desolations – when did I feel life draining out of me?
  5. Face your shortcomings
    1. Sins of commission – sins I have committed
    2. Sins of omission – things I should have done but didn’t
    3. Disposition – what is the state of my “attitude?”
  6. Look forward to the day to come
    1. Name the fears/challenges/opportunities
    2. With every event scheduled pray, “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done.”
    3. Surrender the day to God

This can be done morning, noon or night. Typically, you are reviewing the last 24 hours, but you can take it as far as you need to in terms of days or hours. The purpose is to experience the transformation of our thoughts which ultimately become our feelings and our actions.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this ancient practice called the prayer of examen.

Pastor Jeff


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