For most people most of the time, prayer is hard. It is especially difficult—not to mention unsatisfying—when people experience it as formal, dry, and repetitious. But what might happen if you discovered a simple prayer that changed all that? What if you discovered a prayer that changed you?
In A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer, Jim Manney introduces Christians to a 500-year-old form of prayer that dramatically altered the way he prays and the way he “sees” life. The prayer is the examen, which St. Ignatius Loyola developed for the purpose of nurturing a reflective habit of mind that is constantly attuned to God’s presence.
What makes the prayer so powerful is its capacity to dispel any notion that God is somewhere “up there,” detached from day-to-day tasks and concerns. Instead, the examen leads us into a relationship with a God who desires to be personally caught up in the lives of those whom he created.
By following five simple steps to praying the examen, we can encounter the God who, as Scripture tells us, “is not far from each one of us”—the God whose presence in our lives can make all the difference in the world.
Jim Manney is a popular writer on Ignatian topics (What’s Your Decision? and God Finds Us) as well as the editor of many books on Ignatian spirituality, including What Is Ignatian Spirituality? He lives with his wife in Michigan.