“But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray” ~ Luke 5:16
Listen to a voice recording of “Prayer in the Wilderness,” read by Rev. Rebecca Driscoll, below.
Scripture tells us that Jesus went away to the sea, to the mountainside, to the wilderness taking time away from the business and the crowds to pray. Sometimes, we also need that reminder to take time away, to withdraw into deserted places and pray.
Today, I invite you to spend a few minutes exploring prayer in the form of the Examen. This form of prayer was developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) who founded the Society of Jesus and served as a spiritual director for missionaries. The prayer is a guide for us as we review our day identifying the moments when we felt closest to God and the moments when we felt farthest away from God. The prayer is designed to help us discern the ways that God is present in our lives and how God is calling us to participate in the work of God’s Kingdom on earth.
So let us take a moment today to go with Jesus into a deserted place for a time of quiet reflection and prayer. Settling into this time with a few deep breaths, let us reflect on our day through the lens of these Examen questions:
- For what moment today am I most grateful?
- For what moment today am I least grateful?
- When today did I have the greatest sense of belonging to myself, to others, to God?
- When did I have the least sense of belonging?
- When did I give and receive the most love today?
- When did I give and receive the least love today?
- How was I most aware of grace in my life today?
- How was I least aware of grace in my life today? *
* Questions from: Linn, Dennis, et al. Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1995.