A Prayer to Review the Day
Matthew 5: 13-16 (NRSVA)
13 ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
14 ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
At my church we run a weekly youth club in partnership with another local church. It is usually always great fun and very loud! We always end the evening with a debrief of the leaders, just to review the session; what went well, what was challenging and any learnings. This is proving to be a most helpful exercise as it has highlighted to us activities the kids are enjoying that we can do more of. It has allowed us to implement lessons like providing hot toast for the kids on arrival and it flags to us if any kids are struggling and we need to keep an eye out for them over the coming weeks.
I’ve been following Ignatian Spirituality for a few years now and I try to do something similar to this debrief in my own personal life at the end of each day. St Ignatius called this, the prayer of examen. This time of daily reflection has helped me to discern where God has been present and to perceive how the Holy Spirit is working in my life. It allows me to take notice of my thoughts and emotions throughout the day and what might be motivating them. I’m usually on the go and super busy so taking the time to review the days helps me to slow down and pay attention to what has actually been happening.
I encourage you to try something similar, friends. You will find a guided adapted prayer of examen on the SF website in our A Place for Jesus Holy Week resources we made a couple of years back.
Almighty, all knowing God,
At the close of this day help me to be still in your presence.
As I look back over the day
When was I aware of your presence?
When did I sense your absence?
When did I respond to you with love, faith and obedience?
When did I resist and avoid you?
Almighty God, Help me to see the times when I felt most alive.
Help me to understand what drained and troubled me.
Forgive me Lord the times today that I failed to show your love, either to myself or to others.
Fill me with your Spirit Lord,
Help me to live attentively in your love tomorrow, aware of your presence walking with me each step of my life