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How Can I Pray? Try the Daily Examen

A great way to pray is to look for God's presence in your life. More than 400 years ago St. Ignatius of Loyola encouraged prayer-filled mindfulness by proposing what has been called the Daily Examen. It is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God's presence and to discern his direction for us.

Try this version of St. Ignatius's prayer. 

  1. Become aware of the presence of God.

  2. Review the day with gratitude.
    Gratitude is the foundation of our relationship with God. Walk through your day in the presence of God and note its joys and delights.

  3. Pay attention to your emotions.
    Reflect on the feelings you experienced during the day. Ask what God is saying through these feelings.

  4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
    Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that God thinks is particularly important. It may be a vivid moment or something that seems insignificant.

  5. Look toward tomorrow.
    Ask God to give you light for tomorrow's challenges.

St. Ignatius encouraged people to talk to Jesus like a friend. End the Daily Examen with a conversation with Jesus. Ask forgiveness for your sins. Ask for his protection and help. Ask for his wisdom about the questions you have and the problems you face. Do all this in the spirit of gratitude.