Use this prayer structure for closing out and reflecting on your day through the lens of the love of God.
A prayer of examen (by Mary Albert Darling, Spring Arbor University)
Prepare yourself by quietly focusing your attention on God, and then recalling and thanking God for several specific gifts of the day - like the smell of rain or morning coffee; a kind smile from someone; laughter; and specific people or events.
Review your day by responding to the following two questions, trusting the Holy Spirit to bring to mind what the Spirit wants you to remember.
1. When did I live out of love and freedom in Christ? Or, When did I walk with God today?
Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind when you acted out of love today, paying attention to feelings such as generosity, compassion, joy, and hope so that you can recognize when you were drawn to living with what comes when God's Spirit is guiding you.
2. When did I not live out of love and freedom in Christ? Or, When did I not walk with God today?
Ask God to reveal to you the events and patterns of the day that did not lead to love and freedom in Christ (such as anger, pride, jealousy, and anxiety). Ask God to help you see why you acted the way you did, to help you get to the root of your sin.
Tell God you are sorry, and accept God's forgiveness.
Ask God to help you see any new awareness as a gift and an opportunity for growth in Christ-likeness through praying a prayer like this:
Dear God, thank you for what you have shown me today. Help me to accept with gratitude and grace all that you have revealed. Thank you for all the ways your love is already revealed in and through me. Give me strength and courage to change what needs to change, and to ask others for forgiveness if that is what you want me to do. Thank you that you have my true heart's desire in mind – work in me to always believe that, so that I can truly love and serve you and others. In Jesus' name, Amen.