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December 8, 2017

The Prayer of Examen


In Chapter Three, Foster discusses what he calls "The Prayer of Examen." The word examen is a noun which conveys the idea of an accurate assessment of the true situation. In the next couple days I'll share more of Foster's thoughts on this prayer.

The Psalmist declares "O Lord, You have searched me and know me" (Ps. 139:1). Do you take comfort in God searching you and knowing you or does this causes some discomfort? I guess it depends on your relationship with the Lord. We should see this examination process as a wonderful blessing. God is present in our lives, guiding us and bringing us into alignment with Truth through his examen. The prayer of examen gives God permission to make an accurate assessment of our life in light of Truth. This is not judgmental or harsh, but loving and caring as a father wanting the best for their children. It will never be condemning, but it will always be convicting.

If your afraid to pray this prayer, to open yourself to this blessing, then I would ask yourself, why are you following Jesus Christ? If you just want to attend church and live a good Christian life in your own way, or have a little of Jesus but not too much, then this prayer is not for you. God loves us too much to let us go on un-examined and un-adjusted to his perfect Son. If you truly want an intimate relationship with God, then pray with the Psalmist, "Search me O Go and know my heart! Try me and know my thought! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Ps.139:23-24).