The Daily Examen: A Beautiful Prayer of Gratitude
About 400 years ago, Saint Ignatius Loyola developed a beautiful gratitude prayer practice called the Daily Examen that's just as inspiring today as it was during his time. It's a simple practice, but amazingly powerful. Done daily over the course of the year will bring tremendous benefit and insight to your life.
The Examen is an easy, five-step process you can use at the end of your day. Find a quiet place free of interruptions and get into a calm, relaxed state either sitting or lying down, and complete the following five steps.
The Daily Examen Prayer Instructions
Become aware of God's presence.
Look back on the day and note the times you felt God was with you, assisting. Feel God with you now and ask to become more conscious of God's presence. It may be helpful to repeat a phrase like, "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46v10), or any other prayer that connects you to a Higher Power.
Look back with gratitude.
Review the past 24 hours and notice what you're thankful for. What happened to make you feel blessed? Take a moment to give thanks to God for providing you with these blessings.
Take an honest look at your day.
Note everything that happened over the course of the past 24 hours, your interactions with others, and your emotions. We often rush though each day, not pausing to reflect. Doing a deep, honest reflection of the past day causes us to learn more about ourselves and improve our future actions.
Choose one part of the day, and pray about it.
From doing your review, you might find something God is directing you to work on - an emotion, a relationship that needs mending, an unpleasant situation. Pray for it, ask God's guidance to resolve it.
Pray for tomorrow.
Ask God to guide you tomorrow, leading you to your highest purpose. Send love and light to tomorrow, praying for wisdom and strength. Feel deep gratitude, knowing God has already answered your prayer and tomorrow is already blessed.
Take some deep breaths, and know that all is well.
Download a free PDF copy of The Daily Examen Gratitude Prayer.
This is such a beautiful prayer to end your day - I made a PDF copy of it for you to keep on your nightstand so you don't have to look on a screen to read the instructions.
I'm looking forward to renewing my own inner peace and harmony through using the Daily Examen with my existing gratitude practice. My hope is that it will renew your practice (and life) as well.