Praying the Daily Examen

I have had numerous discussions recently about finding time for daily prayer and reflection.  People have been interested in how I keep the Jesuit Daily Examen on my calendar, so I am sharing it here along with suggested times.  The Examen is one of the most effective (and easiest) ways I know to have scheduled reflection and prayer throughout the day.  Save it as an ongoing and daily occurrence on your calendar and try following it faithfully (3-5 minutes for each one)…it will make a real difference in your life!

Daily Examen for Busy Business People

1.    Thanksgiving                   6:45 am

Begin by relaxing into God’s presence in an attitude of thankfulness.  Find one thing to be thankful for-even if you are having a tough time.  Allow gratitude to take hold of you.

2.    Pray for Insight               10:15 am

Pray to the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what you need at this time.  Consciously open yourself to God’s light.

3.    Finding God in All Things           1:15 pm

This is the heart of the prayer where you examine very concretely the events of the day.

  • What happened since this morning?
  • Who have you come in contact with?
  • What occupies your thoughts today?
  • How are you being drawn to God in your life today?  Now?
  • Where is God calling you specifically this day?
  • Is it time to make a tough decision that will affect the lives of many people?
  • Should I simply bask in gratefulness to God for my life, career in family?

This is not a time for searching for faults.  Rather it is a chance to take a step back and recognize that God is active in the entirety of the day.

4.    Petition                5:30 pm

Express to God your desires.  Again be specific and frame your prayer here in a petition:  “Dear Lord, at this time I ask….for strength to…for courage to….for the resolve to…to be thankful for…”

5.    Resolve for the Future               9:00 pm

Finally, look to the future.  “How shall I live the rest of the day?”  “What shall I do?

Finish with a prayer, for example, the Our Father.

 


Randy Hain, Senior Editor for The Integrated Catholic Life™, is the author of The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work which was released by Liguori Publications in November, 2011. The Catholic Briefcase is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble online and your local Catholic bookstore. 

The Catholic Briefcase was recently voted the Best Catholic Book of 2011 in the About.com Catholicism Reader’s Choice Awards.


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6 Comments

  1. Wonderful idea, but what concerns me is becoming too legalistic in adhering to prayer five set times a day, and not having any flexibility.

    I read a portion of the Bible in the morning, ie. Daily Bible verse, watch the Daily TV Mass (or, if you live close to a Church and an early morning Mass is available, go to Church), and offer up the day to the Lord. Jesus is always on my mind, in my heart, and I’m singing praise songs in my head silently all day long (whether a favourite hymn from Church or another inspirational Christian song) or reciting a favourite Bible passage as the need arises. Praying without ceasing, as St. Paul puts it, is literally that, having Jesus in one’s heart and mind constantly, and being transformed by the renewal of your mind by the power of the Holy Spirit, and by reading God’s Word daily, and living the gospel, not just reading about it.

    I end the day by reading a full chapter of the Bible prior to bedtime, and this ensures a restful sleep. Don’t just read it, but ask the Holy Spirit to open your mind to what He wants you to learn.

    We are to love the Lord our God with our whole mind, heart, body, soul, and strength; and love our neighbours as ourselves, the two greatest commandments. Catholics need to get into God’s Word more, ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ Himself, and we can get to know Him better by spending time with Him daily in His Word, the Bible.

  2. is it legalistic to exercise 15 minutes before breakfast and 15 minutes before dinner and stretch for a time before bed? I would suggest that discipline is not legalism.

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