5.19.19 New Life Exercise

Living “Awake” ― Mark 13:32-37

In light of His return, Jesus instructs His students to “stay awake,” so to speak―to be alert, keep watch, and pay attention as we live out the “assigned task” He’s called each of us to. This involves living “awake” to His presence, activity, and mission in all of life, at any given time. What a gift to have our whole life joined to Jesus’s power, love, and direction!

As a way of helping us notice and practice the presence of God in our everyday lives, making connections between things to discover how He’s at work―we will engage an old method of prayer called the examen. This way of praying can enable us to live awake to the reality of God all around us, in everything, so that we can join Him in what He’s doing and live with Him. This is one way we can develop the habit of noticing what God is saying and doing.

Read this short article, beginning at the heading “A Dialogue with Jesus,” to get a sense for what the examen entails. It’s very simple, and can even be adapted for kids!

This week, instead of decompressing or “resting” from the day by catching up on social media or watching a show, take a few minutes one evening to be with Jesus and practice the following steps of the examen:

  1. Take a few deep breaths. Become aware of God’s presence. Ask for Him to give you His eyes with which to look back over your day together.

  2. Review your day with Jesus, letting Him highlight moments where He was present and active. Notice and receive these with gratitude, thanking Him for being present at every turn.

  3. Notice moments when you were distracted from relying on Jesus, living out of step with His Spirit; or moments when it seems like God was hidden, asking Him to help you discern where He is. Listen for His compassionate guidance, confess and experience His amazing forgiveness, and return to Him fully.

  4. Look toward the day to come together.