The Daily Examine

The Daily Examine is one of the key aspects of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s classic spiritual exercises.  Using this daily examine at the close of every day is a wonderful way to offer our day to God, work through any problems the day presented, and prepare for the next day.

There are five steps to The Daily Examine.  We recommend you practice this while sitting quietly in a straight-backed chair for the best focus.

1. Become aware of the presence of God: Light a candle, say a short prayer, breathe deeply.  Take time to separate this moment from the rest of the day and to come into God’s presence.  You may even use an icon to help you.

2. Review the day with thanksgiving: In your mind review your day from the beginning to the moment you sit down for the examine.  Think of this review as recounting the day to God.  Thank God for the numerous blessings you now recognize that God provided.

3. Think about your emotions throughout the day: What did you feel, why and in what circumstance?  Paying attention to our emotions can reveal important clues to how God may have been working and our response.

4. Choose one part of the day and pray from it:  Ask God to guide you to one moment and pray from it.  It could have been a moment that excited you, troubled you, etc.  Once you settle on the moment pray from it with whatever prayer is appropriate–thanksgiving, confession, intercession.

5. Look at the next day: Prepare for tomorrow with God.  Think about what will come, what’s on the agenda and what surprises might be on the path.  Pray that God will guide you and that you will follow God’s way and lead throughout the day.

About Ragan Sutterfield

Ragan Sutterfield is a writer and Episcopal seminarian sojourning from his native Arkansas in Alexandria, Virginia. He is the author of Cultivating Reality: How the Soil Might Save Us, Farming as a Spiritual Discipline and a contributor to the book Sacred Acts: How churches are working to protect the Earth’s climate. Ragan’s articles and essays have appeared in a variety of magazines including Triathlete, The Oxford American, and Books & Culture. He works to live the good life with his wife Emily and daughter Lillian.


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