Challenge #4 - Daily Reflection
Feeling stuck? Having trouble growing in your faith? Humans have the tendency to land in two spots. We either feel overcome by our weaknesses, or we turn a blind eye to them. Either way, there is hope. With God’s help, we can change.
Adding to a daily routine of silence, it is helpful to develop a habit of self-reflection. In Psalm 139:23-24 David says, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Using this verse as a launching-off point, Christians throughout the centuries have developed a five-step process for self-reflection. (The historical name for this type of prayer is called a Prayer of Examen.) One example is outlined below. It is from the book Journey with Jesus by Larry Warner on pg. 30.
- Thank God for His Gifts
- Ask God to Reveal Sin
- Examine Your Past Actions
- Thank God for His Forgiveness
- Ask God to Change Your Heart
We challenge you to incorporate this process, along with silence and journaling, into your daily routine. Everyone has different schedules and energy levels throughout the day. Still, we encourage you to find a few minutes each day to spend time asking for God’s help in transforming your heart. It is also very important to talk about how God is moving in your heart and mind with other trusted Christians. Life is hard. Growing in our faith can be uncomfortable, especially if God is putting his finger on certain areas. But take heart. When God convicts us, he does so with hope. He has a plan for us. He will lead us “in the way everlasting.”
Here are some more online resources, including guided prayer videos going through the process of self-reflection and examen.
How to Pray About Your Sin | by Bryan Chapell and Crossway
In this article from a series on prayer, Brian Chapell incorporates several different Bible verses as he dives into praying about our mistakes and how God is forming us.
Video: Prayer of Examen | Saddleback Church
This is a 15 minute guided prayer session. It provides a great explanation and experience for self-reflection and examen. This is a great place to start if you are new to this process.
Journey with Jesus | Larry Warner
Larry Warner has created several resources including his book Journey with Jesus and these online videos. His resources are great for those diving into spiritual formation for the first time as well as those who familiar with these practices.