From the Archives: Examin

Paying attention to God and the desires that He gives you throughout the day should be one of the basic elements of life. However, their are many conflicting ‘voices’ that are competing for our attention, and if you are not intentional about pausing and finding God’s voice, then His stream may not be heard as clearly as would be best. Today, I am going give you a basic outline for what is called the Examin. It will help you to create a space for what God’s desires are for your life, so that you may listen and respond to the Spirit more clearly.

In Colossians 1:9, we read: Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God work.

And in Philippians 1:9-10, Paul writes: …this is my prayer, that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus would be proud of…

In each of these verses, Paul is explaining to us that that this way of love is something that can be intentionally sought after and known. He also encourages us with the truth that God, through the Holy Spirit is going to reciprocate that intentionality, and make known His divine plan for the moments of our life.

I don’t have to tell you that there are moments in your day when it feels that a piece of life has passed you by. Your plate is overflowing. You are busy. And yet, God is still at work within you, despite the whirlwind of chaos that you struggle in daily. Wouldn’t it be nice if you got a line-item analysis of your daily life printed out at the beginning of each day so that you knew which ‘opportunities’ you could just set off to the side, and which ones were really the priorities that God desired for you to tend to.

What would happen then to the sleepless nights, the loss of appetite, the headaches, and the feeling that you just can’t look people in the eyes anymore. Oh… to come to grips with the fact that some things in our lives bring us closer to death… and some things bring us closer to life. If you could see what those things were, would you try?

So why the Examin Prayer?

Your days are filled with highs and lows.

You often desire to recognize God’s presence in your day-to-day

You would like to filter out all of the voices that you hear drawing your attention so that you would be able to recognize the voice of your Heavenly Father.

You would like to be a better listener, rather than feel like you have to have all the answers all the time.

You would like to feel more gratefulness in your heart.

You are aware that sometimes you grow impatient, and come across ‘on edge’ with those closest to you.

You would like to know what really is a God given desire, and what is a passion that probably needs to be overcome.

You would like to commune with God more throughout your day, particularly when He is drawing you to Himself.

Commune and Converse Below are a list of questions for you to tuck into your journal or Bible as you spend your quiet time with God.

What am I grateful for today? What am I not grateful for today? Were their moments today when I was a giver love? Were there moments when I was a receiver of love? When did I feel alive today? When did I help someone else feel alive today? When did I feel that life was being sucked out of me today? Did I suck life out of someone today? Was there a period of time today when God’s presence was close? Was there a moment today when I felt totally alone in the world? Was there a period of time today when I felt close to another person?

These questions can be reflected on in an attitude of prayer. You do not need to answer each question everyday. You do not even need to plan on making through each question within the month. They are designed to help you commune with God about life. Perhaps as you scan down the questions during your quiet time, you will see that one jumps out at you. That is where your attention needs to be directed.

Trust that the Holy Spirit is looking forward to bring things to the forefront of your prayers, and that these are the items in your life that need to be addressed. As you become more aware of this intimate relationship during your prayer times, you will discover that His voice becomes clearer and clearer throughout the busy times in your day, or at least easier to find if you take the time to pause.

If you need perspective and direction for your life and a general leading for your future, you are going to need to learn how to listen for the places that God is waiting for you throughout your day. A peace in the day-to-day will be cultivated, and will drive away the anxiety about the big pieces of your future. When you become aware of the Spirit’s life giving presence, you will begin to fall in love with the person that you see in the mirror, because you will begin to see the image of God and person He desires you to be reflecting back in to your soul. When that happens, you will know who God created you to be, and you will have all of the data needed to discern what needs to stay in your life, and what can be passed by.

You are unique, and your journey will be too.

You are loved.

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