Restorative Prayer, with Megan Koch
DISCUSS the Introduction to Awareness essay and your experiences with the Examen practice:
1. After interacting with Steve DeNeff’s sermon, the Introduction to Awareness essay, and the Examen practice so far, how would you define the practice of “awareness?”
2. “As disciples, we must learn to see everything through Jesus; the good and the bad…. We understand more than what meets the eye, because we see everything in light of Jesus.” Awareness allows us to make Christ the lens through which we view everything, ranging from large, significant life changes to small, insignificant daily happenings.
Take a moment to creatively think (or better yet, see) how Christ is present in the following:
• Your work
• Your kids / parents / family
• Your morning rhythms
• Your favorite drink
• A recent conversation with a friend or co-worker
• A pet
• A negative interaction you had with someone
• A positive interaction you had with someone
3. Now, take another moment and reflect how Christ is present with you right here, right now… What’s he doing within you? Your discipler? How was he present in the process of making the table you’re sitting at? Who else is around you, and how may Christ be present there with them? What else is happening in your current surroundings that’s evidence of God at work?
Get creative, and press in to what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to you here in this moment.
4. Another part of awareness isn’t just seeing what’s going on with God, but what’s going on within you. Turn now to your examen practice from this week. How was the experience with this new prayer practice, overall?
5. What were some key insights you gained about God’s involvement in your days?
6. When “examen-ing” your days, did you learn anything about yourself? What caused you to be hurt, frustrated, or sad? Why?
7. St. Ignatius calls anything that’s “bad” about our days as moments of “desolation,” because we’re drawn away from God in those moments through hurt, pain, or suffering. When doing your examen practice, how were you able to see Christ present during those moments? Did he offer you relief?
8. When the examen prayer is practiced regularly, it creates the habit of actively seeing God throughout your day, and even allows you to look ahead to the next day and inviting God into the moments that are expected to be the most stressful. If this practice has been beneficial, continue to practice it regularly! There are a bunch of different ways to practice the examen, and Mark Thibodeaux book, Reimagining the Ignatian Examen is a great resource for these unique prayer exercises.
CLICK HERE to access Mark’s book!
Assignment: Watch and take notes over the video, “Restorative Prayer,” by Pastor Megan Koch located below. Afterward, go back to your timeline from Module 5. Based on what you learned in the video, consider how Jesus may have been present in some of those past wounds. Journal some notes to share at your next meeting.