Spiritual toolbox part 3: The Examen Prayer


First of all, I hope you had a fabulous Easter. Jesus is truly risen!!!

Today I want to continue my 10-part series with the Examen Prayer of St. Ignatius de Loyola.

In the beginning of Lent my  Twitter-friend Tara told me she was doing the daily Examen Prayer for Lent, as I was giving up luxury foods and goods.

She made me very curious and I looked up what it was. The Examen was constructed by Ignatius de Loyola, who was the founder of the Roman Catholic Jesuits.

The Examen of Consciousness is a simple prayer directed toward developing a spiritual sensitivity to the special ways God approaches, invites, and calls. Ignatius recommends that the examen be done at least twice per day, and suggests five points of prayer:

  1. Recalling that one is in the holy presence of God
  2. Thanking God for all the blessings one has received
  3. Examining how one has lived his or her day
  4. Asking God for forgiveness
  5. Resolution and offering a prayer of hopeful recommitment
  6. the Examen is usually concluded with the Lord’s prayer

It is important, however, that the person feels free to structure the Examen in a way that is most helpful to him. There is no right way to do it; nor is there a need to go through all of the five points each time.
The basic rule is: Go wherever God draws you.

And this touches upon an important point: the Examen of Consciousness is primarily a time of prayer; it is a “being with God.”

1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.

  • If you want to have a neat overview of the process you have a look at this handout I found on ignatianspirituality.com that you could print on as a handy leaflet.
  • Lastly I’d like to recommend a very nice resource: an mp3-file of the Examen where you are lead through the whole Examen via audio. You can listen to it if you click on this link:

The Examen prayer audio

Just sit back and pray along. I really love it, although I don’t pray it everyday. And I really appreciate the thanksgiving part of it. It makes me count my blessings. I’d love to get deeper though and really connect with God, lying on the sofa with the Father.

I’d love to hear your experiences with the Examen. Please drop me a comment below or find me on Twitter.

3 thoughts on “Spiritual toolbox part 3: The Examen Prayer

  1. Hi Ester, ik heb de audio examen prayer beluisterd, niet zo makkelijk om zo lang gefocust te blijven. Zeker is dat de 5 punten een goede leidraad in het leven kunnen zijn. Groetjes, mam CU tomorrow.

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