After receiving the survey responses you completed last year, Global Trellis heard many of you desiring to pray more intentionally for your organizational leaders and teams. Out of that desire, we created an Examen specific to that heart-felt desire, and we will be focusing this week on all of us praying for organizations! Yours or one you know. You can download this resource below!
What is the Examen?
The Examen is a reflective prayer developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola as part of his Spiritual Exercises written in the 15th century. There are five parts to the prayer of Examen:
Typically this prayer is meant to be a reflection on one’s day in order to grow in awareness of God’s presence in one’s life toward deeper transformation in the Spirit. However, it can be modified toward a more focused aspect of one’s day or life. Outlined below is a reflective guide toward more intentional and transformational prayer for your wider organization and team.
If you’ve never prayed the Examen, this may feel challenging at first. We’ve given prompts to get you started, but as you become more comfortable with this format of prayer, feel free to make it your own. We encourage you to try this prayer every day for a week. Find a time of day, usually the end of your day or early morning (morning prayer would be a reflection on the day prior), ultimately a time that suits you best where you can spend at least twenty minutes of focused prayer.
Let’s get started.
ASK GOD FOR LIGHT
Lord, I ask for your Holy Spirit to illuminate the ins and outs of my organization and team so that I may recognize your presence there. Shine your light on the areas within my organization for which you’d like me to pray. Show me who needs my intercession and encouragement. Allow me also to see where you’d like to reveal truth in my life in relation to my organization. Amen.
You may pray any variation of this form of prayer. The intent is an openness to the Holy Spirit in your life and organization so as to guide your prayers.
Gratitude is a posture of praise to God for all of the gifts within life that sustain us. Spend time giving thanks for your organization, team and persons in those circles. What are you most grateful for concerning your organization?
REFLECTION + REVIEW
This portion is where you may spend the most time. Review your day from the moment you awoke until evening. What did you do, how did you feel throughout the day, who did you engage with during the day, what obstacles or events took place, where did you notice God? You may write this down or simply review it in your mind. Notice what stands out.
Since this Examen is focused on your organization, here are more intentional questions for reflection:
—How did you interact with your organization or team today? Review that experience. What emotions did you feel? Where did you notice joy or stress? What caused those feelings and how might they be inviting you to pray?
—Did you engage with a person from your organization or team today? How do you feel about that relationship? How does God feel about that person? What’s God’s invitation of prayer for that person?
—Are you in charge of a particular responsibility for your organization? If so, how are you feeling about those responsibilities? Name the emotions. If you are feeling overwhelmed, are you sensing a need to talk with someone about that or surrender anything? If you are experiencing joy, where can you give praise?
—Think about your organization or team for a moment. Are there areas of concern? Are there people in which your relationship is not in a healthy place or you feel hurt? Are there circumstances where you feel conflict or need discernment. Do particular needs come to mind? Spend time praying over these matters, asking the Holy Spirit to guide your prayers.
—At the end of this time, what emotions rise to the surface concerning your overall relationship with your organization or team? Share those with God. Ask him to show you the heart of those emotions. Is he giving you an invitation in that emotion?
Here we can remember that God’s Spirit is gentle and merciful and quick to forgive. Part of the Examen is a movement toward allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us into the likeness of Christ and we do this through repentance, forgiveness and surrender. These questions may help you process.
During your review, did anything arise in which you need to seek forgiveness or repentance? If so, how will you respond to God’s movement toward reconciliation? Were any personal sins revealed during this time that you’d like to surrender to God for healing? Did any areas of resolution arise for your organization or team that you can respond to? In light of the review, what is your response to God in your life, team, or organization?
GRACE FOR TOMORROW
God’s compassion is new every day (Lamentations 3:22-24).
Lord, thank you for this sacred time of reflection and prayer. Thank you for revealing the work of your Spirit in my life and within my organization. Continue to teach me how to pray. I pray for grace to see you more clearly tomorrow in my ministry, life, teammates, and organization so that we may serve you in the unity of the Spirit.
To help you pray this week (or other weeks!), we created a downloadable version of this Examen.
The Prayer of Examen for your Cross-Cultural Organization