An examen is a prayerful review of the day that focuses your attention on the movements of God in your life. By reflecting on the events of the last several hours, you can look for moments where you felt more alive and connected to God and others. You’ll also notice the events that caused you to withdraw or experience anxiety, restlessness, or frustration. Practiced daily, they help you notice patterns that may confirm and clarify your vocational calling.
In this season of your life, you’re wrestling with many questions as you navigate the various options for your vocation. In the following seven examens, you will be guided on a journey of deep, inner awareness to notice God’s love for you, the movements of your own heart, the things that affect you negatively, your connection to others in community, the ways you give the best part of who you are, what is important to you, and what you want to be about. We pray that these exercises might establish some foundational practices that can aid you in discerning and noticing God’s movement in your life, to begin to create a framework for healthy discernment upon which a larger discernment process can rest.
Noticing My Connection To Others In Community
My desire for community: Who is with me and for me? By Michael Munson, Birmingham, England
I take a moment to find silence and solitude right where I am, so that I may be present to the voice of the Holy Spirit whispering his truths into my spirit.
Community and other people can be a tricky thing in my life. I can love them deeply, and fear or dislike them just as strongly. Yet I know that I am called to relationships and to community.
As I take this moment to rest in my heavenly Father, I ask the Holy Spirit to “search and know me” as the Psalmist writes in chapter 139. I ask for the grace to become aware of the movements in my heart towards others. I notice the good gifts of others as well as the opportunities to learn to love more deeply.
Heavenly Father, help me to know where you are calling me to more deeply engage with the people around me, especially my church family. Would you help me see where I have defenses up to those around me, and to see where I have found joy in those around me. I wish to know and understand my desires and passions, and your desires and passions for me, in community.
Questions for Reflection
- I thank God for the following things that I love about the people in my life: _________________.
- I consider now what my community has offered to me as a gift that has helped me in my life with Jesus.
- Where is God at work within my community? I ask God to give me the grace to notice.
- Where may I be missing God’s work within my community?
- I ask God to help me see where I may be disengaged or held myself aloof from true intimate friendships.
- I receive from the Lord the grace and healing for any unhealthy habits or insecurities that may be present in that disengagement.
- What is the invitation God has for me in connection with community?
If you’re interested in more content like this, you can download our whole ebook How To Notice What God Is Doing, 7 examens to prepare your heart for Cause Con.