Archives For prayer

Developed by Ignatius of Loyola, the big idea of Prayer of Examen is this:

Take some time to think about your day.  Then talk to God about it.

How often have you felt guilty because you don’t know what to pray about?  Crazy, but normal.  Examen is so obvious it hurts.  Remember your day then tell God about your day.  As you do, you’ll see:

Ways God has blessed you.
Ways he seems to have failed you.
Things you don’t understand.
Things you want more of.
Thing you regret.
Things you didn’t realize were there.

Then you talk to God about it.

You can learn about the Examen at, or you might just play this audio file instead.  Here’s Iggy’s Five Steps to Praying the Examen.

  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.

Here’s a cheesy catholic PSA to help.

How to Develop a Prayer Journal

Chris —  February 18, 2013

Prayer journaling is one of those things you hear “spiritual” people talking about, but no one seems to explain what it is.  Journaling of any sort is a tricky enterprise.  When done well, it can help a person interpret their life.  But without` a clear methodology, it can easily become a book of rants and complaints, which is not inspiring to do on a regular basis.  Prayer is the same way.  Left to ourselves, we often avoid it.  When we do pray, it’s hard to get beyond the begging and the whining.

Student Writing
Prayer journaling can be any place you record your conversations with God.  However, by setting up a few standards, you can avoid the self-centeredness and participate in a genuine conversation.  I developed this scripture-led method as a means of praying through my daily reading of scripture. Continue Reading…

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

Merton’s Prayer

The Kindle Story

Chris —  September 19, 2011

I have always read a lot of books.  I love having books around and talking about books.  I think that bookshelves are the best way to decorate a house.  So the idea of digital books didn’t used to be too appealing to me.  However, during my trip to Fuller, I was embarrassed to see so many people carrying iPads and Kindles, while I had a second suitcase full of books.  This was compounded by a 200 page , two column PDF that I had to read on my Macbook.  Partially joking and partially exasperated I tweeted:

This has been a tough summer.  In many ways, I feel like God has put me on hold.  I’ve been waiting a long time for a lot of things, trying to be faithful with what I do have.  But living in between is tough, and it’s worn me down.

The question that comes to mind is “why isn’t God working in my life?”  I hear stories of  God providing in emergencies, providing opportunities for vocation, or providing little things.  It would be a lie to say that God has never worked in my life this way, but it feels like it’s been a long time.

Last Sunday I was handed a box that had been shipped to an old residence.  I wasn’t expecting anything, much less the 1/2 lb. e-ink masterpiece I had been pining for.  Shocked, I raced home and dug through my receipts just to make sure I had not accidentally bought it.  Nothing.  I tore apart the box for a shipping form, and saw my address and a short line that said:


I’ve spent the last week attached to the little gizmo.  A co-worker saw me smiling and said: “You look like you’ve got a new girlfriend.”  I’ve devoured two books already.

It hasn’t fixed any of the problems that have got me down.  But it is a reminder that God is out there, he listens, and other people do, too.  I may have some complaints, but I have a good life.  While I may still be on hold with God, I feel like he’s letting me know that he hasn’t gone anywhere.  He cares.  He wants to take care of me.  Maybe he’s just waiting for me to let him.


When Rick Perry asked Texans to join him in prayer and fasting he added the words “like Jesus did.”  The implication is “if Jesus were in our situation he would and pray and fast.”

Perhaps that is true.  Jesus was a Jew and prayer and fasting was a historically accurate response to calamity.

The problem is that Perry claimed that his rally was to pray and fast like Jesus did.

So how did Jesus pray and fast?  Well he doesn’t have much to say about it, except in Matthew:

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

So, if Jesus didn’t want people to show off their religiousness by fasting, would he record a video about fasting and put it on Vimeo for the world to see?

Would Jesus rent out an arena for thousands to join in a fasting event?

What do you think Jesus would say to Rick Perry about this event?