Do you ever wish for a reset button? A reset button is a chance to reset the situation or to reset the day. This wish is often most poignant at the end of the day. As moms, we have run the marathon of the day and are just stumbling and struggling to get across the finish line of bedtime. An Examen Prayer for Moms might just the right reset button we need for the next day.
Examen is Latin for examination. When we examine something, we look closely at it. We investigate and evaluate. Examen is an opportunity to reflect on the day and evaluate it from a spiritual perspective.
Not a morning person? I struggle with having prayer and devotion time first thing in the morning. Caring for a child with Type 1 diabetes means that I am up several times a night. Coffee is an essential part of my morning routine. The Examen is a quiet time practice intentionally designed for night time. Yes! When the kids are finally in their rooms, and you are winding down for the day – this is the ideal time to spend with God examining your day and planning for the next.
“Ignatius was emphatic about the Examen. He told the early Jesuits that if they for some reason did no other spiritual exercises, they should do this one. Then as now, the Examen is a spiritual tool for sizing up your days — and planting the seeds for a more purposeful life.” – Jesuits.org
Examen Prayer: Proven Practice
Created by St. Ignatius Loyola over 400 years ago, the Examen Prayer has been passed down from generation to generation within the Catholic tradition. The Jesuits, whom Ignatius founded, still practice the Examen twice a day at noon and in the evening.
Its value has been recognized and shared with other Christians. You can be Baptist, Independent, and non-denomination and still find tremendous Christian growth from the Examen. Any Mom who struggles with a morning quiet time can benefit from a prayer designed for the evening!
So, what exactly is an Examen Prayer for Moms?
The Examen is a five-fold process. There are different names given for each of these steps, but the focus of each step is basically the same.
#1 Be still with God
The process of Examen begins with just sitting in God’s presence. In all things, God is our focus. Most wise teachings on prayer instruct us to start with adoration. We focus on who God is and great is our God.
Our goal is to reflect on our day, not in our own power and strength but rather to seek to see and experience our day through God’s eyes and heart. We begin that process by drawing near to God in prayer and quieting our heart before Him.
#2 Gratitude for the Day
We continue in this prayerful practice by giving thanks. We reflect on the ways that we saw God working in our life during the day. We can give thanks for the witness of God’s saving grace that we saw at work in the lives of those around us as well.
It is easy for us to go about our days working in our strength and for our own glory. Stopping and giving gratitude trains our hearts to focus on not on our own actions but on what the sovereign God of the Universe in doing all around us.
#3 Review & Reflect
The grateful gratitude of the previous section naturally flows in this section. As we journey to the middle of these five steps, our hearts have opened enough to look deeper at the specific events of the day.
As we move deeper into prayer, we invite the Holy Spirit to speak to us about how God saw our day. We open ourselves up to the specific events and parts of our day that we hit the mark and those where we miss the mark. How well did we walk like Christ and with Christ?
#4 Name the Brokenness & Repent
This is the section where we reflect on how we have fallen short. We don’t beat ourselves up here, for we remember that Romans 8:28 tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Instead, we approach this time as humble learners who yearn to be more like Jesus. We are engaged in the practice of reflecting on how we are living out our faith and striving to be a better witness. We do this not out of a desire to earn our salvation or to prove our worth, but rather out of our love and devotion to our loving Father.
#5 Hope for Tomorrow
In Christ, there is always hope for tomorrow. Each day is fresh and new. Each day is a gift to try again. We finish up this time of prayer with reflecting on the day to come.
- What things do we feel God calling us to focus on tomorrow?
- Is God giving us new ideas for how to be more patient or loving to our families?
- What convictions is God laying on our hearts about how we need to conduct ourselves?
The world lives each day in pursuit of wealth and pleasures. So many people drift through their days following the crowds. As Christians, we seek to intentional follow Jesus. We know that our days are precious and we are to be good stewards of them. Time is also precious, and there is an urgency to living out our calling because we know that Jesus could return any day.
Get your copy of this prayer card below. The downloadable card is generously shared by www.ignatianspirituality.com. You can find the original link here.
Examen Prayer for Moms: Quiet Time Applied
Too often our time spent studying God’s word can result in more knowledge but not more action. We can learn all about the meaning of a passage from 1 Corinthians, but if we don’t actually apply it to our lives than we have missed the mark.
The Examen gives us an opportunity to declare our joys (gratitude) and to confess our sins. This prayer also provides us with an opportunity to live a redeemed life in each tomorrow that comes.
How often do we need to practice the Examen Prayer?
The Jesuits practice twice a day. Many Christians practice once a day. Others use this practice once a week as a part of their Sabbath day. When would it be the best blessing to you?
The practice of a Mom’s Examen could be used in other ways as well. If you homeschool, perhaps you want to do a quarterly examen to reflect on your homeschool. If you are married, perhaps a monthly or quarterly review of your marriage might grow and deepen your vows and commitment to your spouse.
The intent of an Examen Prayer for Moms is to invite you into a deeper and more intentional relationship with God. May we better witnesses for Christ in our homes and our world. May we model intentional growth and discipleship as we seek to follow Christ. May we examine our hearts and lives with kingdom purpose.
Would you like to take the lessons learned from the Examen Prayer for Moms and use this tool to help your teen or younger child pray about their day? Check out this resource here. Getting a quiet time in with children can be hard. Check out my tips here.