This guide to daily contemplative prayer is a gift from God. When you consider the topic of prayer, you often think of Intercessory prayer, praying for others, pleading to God on their behalf. While this is very important, many believers want prayer to draw them closer to the heartbeat of God. They desire to connect to Him and to be transformed by Him. As a gift from the Lord, I discovered a daily prayer, which helps develop a contemplative habit of mind that attunes to God’s presence, and is responsive to God’s leading. It focuses on God as present in our daily, even moment by moment, experiences. After practicing this prayer, I discovered that I have been more thankful for the gifts God has been giving me throughout each day and that I have become more aware of His presence! Daily Contemplative Prayer is a beautiful way to connect to God. After reading, Jim Manney’s book, A Simple Life-Changing Prayer (Discovering the Power of St. Ignatius Loyola’s Examen), I decided to summarize and adapt it to share with others. I also developed an acronym to help remember the five steps to Daily Reflective prayer. AGRIP These five steps are summarized and briefly explained below:
A - Ask God for light to see your day with God’s eyes. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what you cannot see yourself, acknowledging that God’s perspective is different from your own. The Lord may bring up some of your relationships and help you reflect on them or make you aware of other areas that need your attention.
G- Give thanks for God’s gifts on this day. You will become aware of how generous and loving God is and learn to perceive Him as a Giver of gifts. We can thank Him for simple things like beautiful flowers in a garden, a fluttering butterfly, a singing bird crossing your path, or a text/ call from a friend. We can also thank Him for the more profound spiritual gifts such as His salvation, His Holy Spirit, His specific Word for you today, or whatever the Lord draws to your attention.
R -Review the day. Pay attention to your feelings/emotions and what is happening in your inner life. Note feelings that move you toward God and others and anything that moves you away from the love of God and others. You can ask, “where is the Lord in all this?” Were there strong feelings, positive or negative, that signal where the action was in your day? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what these emotions may be saying about God’s presence in your life and your response to it. Is the Lord pointing out something in your relationships? Did God give you opportunities to use the gifts/talents He has given you? Respond to the Lord as He shows you.
I- Invite God to reveal your failure. Face what is wrong. What is God’s perspective? Did you have bad attitudes or faults, cause something bad to happen, commit a sin or display unattractive or sinful traits that He does not want in your life? Confess sin. Let God initiate; He is personal and loving while He shows you what is wrong. He wants you to grow in freedom, to be set free from lies, illusions, and self-serving excuses that make us less able to give and receive love. “We become more and more able to give our whole selves to God and become the people God created us to be.”
P- Proceed to take action based on the day you have just lived. Look forward to the next day and seek God’s priorities for you. Ask God to move your heart toward what pleases Him and for guidance for tomorrow. Where has the Holy Spirit been leading and directing your attention? Ask where you need God most tomorrow or what you need for the task. Some people practice Daily Reflective prayer at night, looking back at the whole day in the morning, reflecting on the previous day, or even reflecting on the morning at noontime.
I pray that this short guide helps you connect more with the Lord in your everyday life. May you become more aware of His presence day by day!
To learn more about transformed relationships, I recommend you read Father Abraham Has Many Sons and Daughters by Dr. Rabih Sabra. Click the link to get your copy today!
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