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A contemplative prayer practice.


The Examen is a popular way of praying developed by Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), who suggests it as a daily practice.

Making time for prayer allows us to feel more fully God’s presence in our lives. 


The Examen takes about 15 minutes, and consists of five simple steps:

1 Recall with thanksgiving

Begin to look at your day briefly.

Allow your mind to wander and

notice where there are things to be

thankful for. Take special care to

notice what you have received and

what you gave. Thank God for all of




2 Request help from God

Ask for the help of God’s Holy

Spirit. Do not judge what comes to

you. It is a gentle look with the Lord

at how you have responded to God’s


3 Review your day

This is the longest of the steps.

Review more carefully the events of

your day.

Ask God to show you where he has

been present in your day, either in

you or in others, and what he has

been asking of you. How do you feel

about this? Do you feel pain or joy,

anxiety or peace?

When did you fail? When did you

succeed? In what general direction

do you think you are being drawn

by God? Are you moving towards

God’s plan or away from it?

4 Reconcile

Are there any things you feel did

not go so well, or where you let

yourself or others down, or that you

are otherwise unhappy with?

Maybe there is something that

happened that hurt you—now is the

time to ask for healing and to be


Remember all the good things, and

thank God for being with you when

you avoided a wrong choice or

resisted an old temptation.

Feel the sorrow in your heart when

you apologise, but also the

gratitude when you give thanks for

God’s gentle work inside your

heart .


5 Resolve

What are your needs for tomorrow?

For example, is there something

you need to overcome?

What will you need to live the next

day well, maybe patience, wisdom,

fortitude, self-knowledge, peace,


Ask for God’s help and guidance,

for insight for the coming day.

Look forward with hope to what

will come tomorrow.

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