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The Examen

Today’s Reflection

ONE OF THE SPIRITUAL PRACTICES I have come to love is the practice of Examen, or a prayerful examination of the day. The practice comes from Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a sixteenth-century mystic and the founder of the Jesuit order of priests. He believed this form of prayer to be one of the most important, and he saw it as a gift of God to be practiced regularly. …

In this prayer practice, you focus and reflect on the awareness of God’s presence throughout the day. You ask questions such as, Where did I see God today?, At what points in the day did I feel far from God?, How did I experience joy today?, and What made me sad today?

– Jenny Youngman
Scrambled Starts

From pages 32-33 of Scrambled Starts: Family Prayers for Morning, Bedtime, and Everything In-Between by Jenny Youngman. Copyright © 2015 by Jenny Youngman. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Ask the Examen questions as you reflect upon the day. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birthpangs.

Mark 13:8, NRSV

This Week: pray for estrange family members. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Gertrude the Great of Helfta (November 16).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling November 18, 2018, 1:37 am

    Grateful for the joy if celebrating my dear sister, Molly’s birthday.

    Yes, it’s important to examine ourselves daily.

    Blessings!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling November 18, 2018, 5:09 am

      It is good to reflect and ask ourselves the above questions.

      Lately, I reflected and am thankful that one of the best gift God has blessed me is a sister whom I can share my joys and sorrows. Also, we support each other in prayer and encourage each other.

      Thank you God for this precious gift!

    • Connie November 18, 2018, 9:09 am

      Happy Birthday, dear Molly, Happy Birthday to you!

    • Marcy November 18, 2018, 6:58 pm

      Sweet sister Mary, a very blessed and happy birthday to your sister, Molly!

      Sending Love to you and your family!

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling November 18, 2018, 9:33 pm

        Thanks dear Marcy!

        May all your needs be met and your health improve, Marcy!

        Blessings!

  • robert moeller November 18, 2018, 5:32 am

    Thankful for the joys shared by Jill, that Gloria is doing well, Mary had good birthdays with her Mum and Molly, tis a blessing to have a sister like that. Marcy and Julie are in my prayers, may health, well-being, and needs all be cared for. Prayers for Timothy, Rusty and K, Lou, Connie, Andrea, Betsy, Pam, and April. God’s blessing on all the UR family, may you have a blessed Sunday.

    Had good travel weather yesterday and was able to make a good trip, saw a possible house in the area where we hope to move, had good meals and snacks on the way. This will be a busy week for Anneliese with many medical appointments. Praying they all go well and are helpful. Thankful the new heating system is working so well. A new schedule will come out todaya dn Erich will find out what’s next. Skiing has started here. I’m very hopeful he gets to enjoy it, it has been two years without skiing.

    • Marcy November 18, 2018, 7:06 pm

      Robert, praising God for a productive and enjoyable day for you and Erich yesterday! Also, praying to our Father for a good week for Erich in hopes he gets to ski. Keeping Annaliese in prayer for multiple doctors appointments scheduled this week.
      Sending prayers and Love to you! Thank you for your prayers.

  • robert moeller November 18, 2018, 5:34 am

    The Examen takes the night time review of the day and spreads it out through the day.

    • Marcy November 18, 2018, 7:12 pm

      Yes, the Examen is a very good practice and I used to do this quite often. Nowadays, I’m just worn out, unable to have the clarity of thought necessary. Instead, i listen to Charles Spurgeon’s Morning as part of the start of my day, and finish the day listening to his Evening devotional.

  • Jill November 18, 2018, 6:02 am

    I try to take a few moments before my evening dinner to go thru an Examen type exercise in my mind. I also found an app I have on my phone. When I am waiting in a doctor’s office, or stuck in traffic – I will pull it up and go through the questions and ponderings.
    Mary – thank you for sharing the blessed relationship you have with your sister – a true gift from God. May you both enjoy each other, learn from each other and work well together in caring for your parents.
    I am grateful today to look back over the past several months and see God’s presence with me. As I was reflecting this morning – it seems like it has been a sprint since school started. So many things have transpired. And, now, I feel as tho I can exhale – and hopefully slow down as Advent approaches. I desire to deeply sense this Advent season, to be filled with awe anew at The Gift given to us and to be grateful for moments with family and friends.
    Grateful for a noticing of slowing down, even yesterday. My cousin did some work for me in my attic and then climbed up on the roof of my garage and cleaned out my gutters for me. I usually do that, but he is so willing to be helpful. I was carrying his tools out to his truck and when I looked out my window – he was already on top of my garage. Today my sister and brother-in-law and I will gather at our folks to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday. We will have lunch together and then play cards and dominoes. Another family event we are all able to share together.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling November 18, 2018, 6:12 am

      Thanks dear Jill!

      May you also continue to enjoy many happy moments with your family and friends!

      Blessings!

    • Marcy November 18, 2018, 7:17 pm

      Jill, praise the Lord, for the “slowing down!” Praises for help from your cousin and a happy birthday to your brother-in-law! So thankful to God that you will have family time today and that your Mom, Gloria, is feeling better. Thank you for keeping me in prayer. Sending prayers and Love to you!

  • Julie November 18, 2018, 8:28 am

    This exercise seems very helpful in becoming more aware of God throughout the day. I will try to remember to begin doing this as one can never be too aware of God as one goes through each day.
    Prayers for Mary and Molly. How wonderful that they are so close. A true blessing from God.
    Prayers for Robert, Erich and Anneliese. Prayers of thanks for safe travel and continued progress for the move. Prayers for Erich in his new job and Anneliese for good doctor’s appointments.
    Prayers for Jill and her family as they celebrate another birthday. Prayers of thanks that all are well and able to come together in joy and celebration.
    Prayers for Marcy. Your words to me yesterday were a balm to my soul. You are in my prayers throughout the day and at night I pray you sleep well. Tazzie and Chai will take any sign of affection: scratch, pet, tummy rub, pick up… How about Lucy, is she a pet or a scratch kitty?
    Prayers for Betsy and her family. May they have a safe trip home from the wedding.
    Prayers for Connie and her health. May the future bring only good news and good health. Prayers for Connie’s loving care of the wildlife in her area.
    Prayers for Lou, Andrea, April and Timothy.
    When I was shipping yesterday, a killer artichoke attacked me and I now have my first finger wound of the season. It fell right on a spot that was beginning to get one and now it is a full blown one. So early in the winter season. Praying for spring.
    Prayers for all of the UR family members, even those who are silent

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling November 18, 2018, 8:31 am

      Praying for your speedy recovery dear Julie!

      Thanks and blessings!

    • Marcy November 18, 2018, 7:39 pm

      Dearest Julie, I pray that these stressful days are soon behind you. We know we are God’s cherished children because He tells us so. Know always, that those are the words that are true. I had to remind myself of that often, bolstered by reading the Bible scriptures our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ teaches us that we are loved, and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when finding words proves difficult.
      Lucy likes ear and chin scratches and gentle head and neck petting. Occasionally, she likes a belly rub, but she prefers that I leave her back alone! She doesn’t mind brushing at all, though. Go figure!
      Thank you for keeping me in prayer. Prayers are so powerful!
      Sending prayers of well-being and much Love to you, my dear friend!

  • Marcy November 18, 2018, 8:17 pm

    Hello to my UR siblings and friends! I am thankful for the prayers of this loving group of Believers. I am grateful that God has helped me stay patient as I waited for in home caregiving from Mary, and thank Him for sending her to me. I continue to wait patiently for insurance approval for ongoing coverage for the oxygen, approval of the Spiriva Respimate for breathing and upcoming tests and treatments. I spend copious amounts of time on the phone, trying to get these approvals, so patience is paramount! I remain very thankful for all the blessings God has provided! Normalcy seems downright luxurious and will take a little getting used to!

    I still spend much of the day in prayer and Bible study. I am praying for safe travels and joy for Betsy, Grace and the family. I am keeping Connie in prayer for her health and appreciate her “thankfuls!” I continue to keep Lou and her children in prayer. Andrea, Lowell, her daughter, son-in-law and grandson are thought of and prayed for daily. I am keeping Timothy, April, Pam, Gail, Francesca, Rusty and K, Edy, Ami, Gerri, Eva, Margaret, Jim, Darlene, Darr and Martha in prayer. I’m praying for Patricia Tiernan, whose niece Karen has cancer. We haven’t heard from her for a few months and I pray there is improvement. Also, Kathy G and her two year-old granddaughter, Isabell, and five year-old grandson, Bradyn, are in my prayers. And Perla Goody, who assists immigrants, is also in my prayers. Very thankful for the work she performs and pray she is successful. Prayers for all who visit Reflections and beyond, whose prayers are unspoken.

    (I’m glad I found my prayer list notebook! Wish I could read my own writing better!)

    Please keep an elderly lady and her husband from my church in prayer. She is hospitalized with the flu and recently completed treatment for cancer. Her husband, who used to be a Pastor at our church years ago, also completed cancer treatment last year. Thank you all, very much!

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

    • Andrea November 18, 2018, 9:24 pm

      Thank you, Marcy. I am humbled by your strong witness of faith and generous prayers for all of us. I pray things will get easier for you and thank God that Mary is able to help you regularly. Please tell Mary I am praying for her when I pray for you. When you are unable to comment here, you are on my mind and in my prayers. God bless you. I will keep the elderly lady and her husband in my prayers, too.

    • Lou November 19, 2018, 7:09 am

      Continued prayers and LOVE for you Marcy

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