A Prayer Practice for Discernment

by | Aug 18, 2018 | Formation, Reflections, Spirituality and Spiritual Practice

The following is a prayer technique to help you examine your day, to see if you can discover how God is calling you. It could be to a religious vocation, or a deepening commitment to the Vincentian life. Sit quietly in a chair, read through the section below and then close your eyes and do what the paragraph asks you to do.



Examination of what Purpose God Has in Mind for You

The Discernment Examen is not an examination of conscience which focuses on the moral aspects of your life (what have I done wrong, etc.). The Vocation Discernment Examen is a look at how God is and has been at work in your life, how God is calling you to a particular vocation or purpose in life, to a particular way of living in the world. Since it focuses on your day, it makes sense to do it sometime in the late afternoon or evening. Sit in a chair in a quiet place and follow these 5 steps.

  1. SEE A NEW WAY. Pray that you might see your life AS GOD SEES IT and not just as you see it, that you might be sensitive to God’s grace in your life. Pray that you might see how the Spirit of God is alive in your life, that you might see the Spirit’s handiwork in all the events of your day, drawing you to fullness of life. Pray to see your life through the eyes of God.
  2. SEE AS A POOR PERSON. As you look at your life, pray that you might see your life from the perspective or viewpoint of a POOR PERSON. Rich people often take things and life for granted because they live with an overabundance. A poor person tends to rejoice over the smallest gifts of love and direction that God has given to them. We wish to obtain that same insight.
  3. SEE INTO THE DAY. Begin looking over the activities and events of your day and try to see how God has been working in your life. How was God revealed to you today in the various events of your day? You might want to mentally walk through your whole day or you may want to center in on one or two events that were significant for you; notice what God was saying to you and HOW God was revealed to you. Was God calling you to follow Him in some special or specific way? What feelings arose in you?
  4. SEE GOD’S PRESENCE. How did you respond to the Lord? Praise God for the blessings and opportunities that were given to you. Allow yourself to become more sensitive to the ways that God calls you to follow Him.
  5. SEE GOD’S MERCY. If you have failed to respond to God’s presence in some way, recount how you might respond more fully tomorrow. Pray that tomorrow you will pay closer attention to how God is calling you to follow him more closely with your life.

Once you get used to it, this form of centering prayer should take just a few minutes each evening. From “Vincentian Vocations” on Facebook.