The Daily Examen, and learning how to pray the Daily Examen, is a common Catholic prayer routine. Many believers have incorporated the Daily Examen into their nightly prayer routine. The Daily Examen is an Ignatian prayer that is often done at night that reviews what happened throughout your day.
What is the Daily Examen?
The Daily Examen is a prayer credited to St. Ignatius, who suggested that this prayer be said two times every day: once at noon and again at the end of the day. The Examen consists of 5 simple steps that help a person walk through the details of their day and recognize where God has been working.
The Daily Examen is a reflection of your day that takes you through what happened and helps you to see where God has been acting in our lives on a daily basis.
It is important to end our days with some sort of examen to show us where we have sinned and how we can work toward improvement the next day. The Daily Examen is a comprehensive examen: it has structure for reflection, giving gratitude, examining our consciences, and inviting God into tomorrow.
Without the Examen, we might not see where God has been acting or where we have been absent from Him in our daily lives.
Why pray the Daily Examen?
The Daily Examen is a great way to end your day with God. Having a conversation with God as the last thing you do before sleeping is a way to show Him your love, like you would tell a friend about your day.
This prayer helps us reconnect with God despite the busyness of our day. Giving Him the time to show us how He cared for us during our day will help us to be more grateful. Reflecting on how He was present to us will help us to look for the ways in which He works in our lives more throughout the day.
The 5 Steps of the Daily Examen
The five basic steps of the Daily Examen are:
1. Become aware of the presence of God.
Ask the Holy Spirit to walk you through the events of your day.
2. Review the day with a lens of gratitude.
Look at your day with a focus on gratitude and the gifts and joys you received from God throughout the day. How did God work through people and circumstances to bring you joy? What did you see? What food did you eat? God is present within the little moments of our days.
3. Focus on your emotions.
What feelings did you experience throughout your day? Our emotions can help us recognize the Holy Spirit working in our lives. There are lots of emotions we can experience in a day: anger, joy, frustration, contentment, etc.
Use this time to let God show you where you fell short and focus on the emotions surrounding those moments. What do these feelings indicate on a deeper level? Is there someone who keeps crossing your mind? God might be prompting you to reach out to them.
4. Choose a moment from your day and pray with it.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to show you a particular moment from your day and examine it with God. What is He trying to show you through this moment? As you ponder this moment, let the Holy Spirit move within you to inspire a prayer about it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.
Ask God for the strength and grace needed for the next day. Walk through what you will have going on, and pay attention to how this makes you feel. Let these feelings turn into a prayer, and ask for God’s guidance in your day.
Daily Examen PDF
Here’s a link to a pdf of a Daily Examen so that you can pray it anytime, anywhere. Try incorporating this prayer into your nightly routine as you’re getting ready for bed to invite God more deeply into your life.
Looking for other prayers?
Here are links to some other prayers to incorporate in your daily routine:
A prayer to help us recognize our need for God: Litany of Humility
Want to learn more about the Holy Spirit? Try this prayer to learn about His gifts.
Trying to increase your trust in God? Start praying this litany.
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