Where To Find God

Lenten Practice: Examen
Daily Act: Seek God’s presence in each part of your day. At the end of every task, conversation, or experience, ask the question, “How was God present?”
Weekly Prayer Phrase: Repeat this phrase slowly as you breathe deeply. You may choose to memorize this phrase and repeat it throughout your day.

“SEARCH MY HEART AND MAKE IT ONE WITH YOURS.” 

By Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

This is where I will meet you
Says Divine Love:

In the wonder you feel
As you watch the icicles
Melting outside your window

In the gentle touch of another
When you are in need
And the comfort it brings

In the sunlight that
Turns to gold
Everything in its path
Which catches your breath
And awakens delight in you

In the conversation
That moves you closer to connection
With another person
In whom I also reside

In each moment you slow down
To notice the beauty around you
And let it fill your Spirit
In a strengthening way

In the hope that rises up in you
In the midst of encompassing despair

In the injustice anger that
Finally prompts your trembling voice
To speak out for what is right

In the darkness
In the light
In the sorrow
And in depth of joy

In the details
Seemingly insignificant
Which are the composition
Of the whole of your life

If you yearn to see me
Be prepared to meet me anywhere

It may not be
The earthquake you expect
Or the fire

It may be the silence
It may be the least expected place
It may be every place

When you ask
Where are you?
Wherever you are
I will answer
Here

(1 Kings 10:11-13)

God In All Things: Examen

Lenten Practice: Examen
Daily Act: Engage in the practice of Examen. Use the prayer phrase as a way to enter a time of prayer.
Weekly Prayer Phrase: Repeat this phrase slowly as you breathe deeply. You may choose to memorize this phrase and repeat it throughout your day.

“SEARCH MY HEART AND MAKE IT ONE WITH YOURS.” 

Below is the description of the Examen found in the Community of Christ Guide for Lent. There is no specific formula or method that needs to be used. The important thing with this practice is to place your whole life before God in prayer. Nothing is too mundane or insignificant! Search for God’s presence and invitation in every part of your life. The examen reflects what its founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, proclaimed: That God is in all things!

The prayer of examen is a daily spiritual practice that encourages us to review the day with God, remember our connection with the Holy, and recommit ourselves to encounter the Divine once again. Many Christians have used this practice since the 1500s, and while it is often practiced at the end of a day, it may be done any time. The examen can be used during Lent as we seek to realign our lives with the life of Christ.

The Practice: Find a comfortable and quiet place in which you are able to reflect on your day. Read scripture passages, such as Psalm 139:1–3, 7 or Psalm 51:10–12, 15–17. You may want to write your thoughts on these passages in a journal, or during the examen, write as you notice the Spirit stirring within you.

Begin by recognizing God’s presence and give thanks for this awareness. Gently enter seeking the Spirit’s guidance. Express gratitude as you recognize the many and diverse ways you have sensed God’s presence throughout the day. You may want to record your thanks in writing.

Look back over your day objectively, without judgment or justification. Notice when you recognized God’s presence and where you were most Christ-like. When did you
cooperate with God’s Spirit of healing and shalom? Also notice where you were not as cooperative, and perhaps even resistant to the invitation to linger and follow.

Pay attention to your feelings as you review and reflect, and notice patterns and choices. Are you being invited to release certain attitudes or behaviors and embrace others? Ask the Holy Spirit for insight, and pray for forgiveness, healing, reconciliation, or release as needed.

Offer God the next day, asking God to be present in your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Ask yourself, “Beginning tomorrow (or today), how will I live my life differently?” Close your practice with a brief benediction. Receive God’s grace and rest.