Praying Backward: Another Approach to Examen

In Rummaging for God: Praying Backward Through Your Day, Father Dennis Hamm, S.J., offers another way of considering our examen.

Imagine yourself sifting through a drawer full of your day’s experiences. And as you search, you will often uncover something you had forgotten about. Here is his simple guide:

  1. Pray for light. Ask God to show you something helpful, to literally shed new light on your day.
  2. Review the events of your day with thanksgiving. In your mind’s eye, repeat the movements of your day offering thanks for each one.
  3. Review the feelings that surface in your replay.
  4. Choose one of those feelings (either positive or negative) and pray from it. Wherever you feel most drawn or the strongest emotion, pray anything that surfaces in you with that feeling–praise, petition, repentance, cry for help, etc.
  5. Look toward tomorrow. What feelings come up as you consider your next 24 hours? Pray with those as well.


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