Our church has begun having periodic Sunday evening services of quiet and contemplation. Lots of space for prayer and reflection among the candlelight and communion.
They are precious respites in the chaos of the day.
This evening, I had the privilege of attending our service featuring the Examen with my daughter while the boys and dad had back-to-back baseball and basketball.
The Examen, if you are not familiar, is a five step prayer process that leads you to see the good, and the hard, and determine what to keep and what change.
Today was a mixed bag, personally. There’s still a fair amount of tension in our house and there was lots going on but also a lot of dear sweet good one-on-one time with each of the kids.
So in the process of the Examen, we tackled these questions, with space and time to breathe and pray and really process:
Step 1 – Thanksgiving, What am I especially grateful for this day?
Step 2 – Petition, I ask to know God and to see myself how He sees me
Step 3 – Review, Where have I felt joy or goodness or love, taking time to see that and feel that, and then where I have felt harder emotions (anger, sadness, frustration…) and what should I do with those emotions
Step 4 – Response, In light of the things God has revealed to me and about my day, what should I do more of or less of or what work is still outstanding – how do I respond to God;
Step 5 – Looking Forward, how will I enter tomorrow based on what I’ve reflected upon today, what has He revealed to me that I can now put into practice tomorrow
It was deeply centering.
When driving home, I asked little bit what she thought of the service. I loved it, I love these Sunday evening services, she replied.
Ah. Such goodness. We all, regardless of our age, need a centering prayer to quiet our hearts, to remind us of the love of our Father Creator, and to convict us where there are things undone.
Will leave you with one of the final songs of the evening. In the early morning hours, when it’s still dark outside, this is what I’m going to be waking up to. The Goodness of God:
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