I get asked this often....
How do you practice hearing God's voice?
Well, the obvious answer is just that - I practice! The more I practice paying attention to God's activity in my life, the more familiar it becomes to notice when something is of God or is not of God. One of the regular tools I use to reflect on God's activity in my own life - and therefore hear God's voice - is the ancient Prayer of Examen.
St. Ignatius of Loyola led his followers in this prayer and invited them to practice it twice daily. While I typically practice in the evenings, it is a very helpful tool in my soul care tool box.
Ignation spirituality invites us into this ancient prayer practice of noticing God on our journey through gratitude, consolation, and desolation. We then bring our prayers before God. The Prayer of Examen is as powerful today as it was hundreds of years ago for the Jesuits. Why not try it for yourself? Use the prompts below and find a quiet place to listen to the guided version below. Make this prayer your own and discover what God invites you to hear today!
Here's my simple key for my daily reflection:
Up Arrow: When did I feel close to God today (a moment of consolation)?
Down Arrow: When did I feel far away from God today (a moment of desolation)?
Smiley Face: What moment am I most grateful for today?
Heart: What is the prayer of my heart, for what would I like to pray to God about from today? (Note: this may be something already named from the day, or something entirely different)
You're invited to join me for a reflective day apart offering space for God's wisdom through presence, intentional silence, and words from the Saints before us on All Saints Sunday, November 7th.
This soul care retreat is limited to 20 participants, please RSVP below to save your spot. Your registration must be received by 10/31/21 (or until the retreat is full). Our quiet day retreat will be socially distanced with plenty of room outdoors (bring a lawn chair, yoga mat, blanket, pillow, or anything that makes you comfortable settling in for reflection) and indoor space is also available. You'll receive a journal, guided prayer prompts, coloring pages, access to a hot beverage station, and a warm fire, as well as opening and closing time in community. In case of inclement weather, we may enjoy our socially distanced reflection time in the sanctuary and/or chapel.
All Saints Sunday, November 7, 2021, from 12:30 - 4:30 PM at Lebanon First UMC in Lebanon, Tennessee.
It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there’s no one to help, tough!
Two in a bed warm each other.
Alone, you shiver all night.
By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.
After more than a year of in person community being limited to screens and small gatherings, I've been craving more in person community connection. I'm so grateful for my soul friends - near and far - online and in person! And, I always long for more of those strands because I know I'm better together than alone. And I'm not alone in that. In listening during spiritual direction sessions, I have heard many prayers muttered for more authentic in person connection. Maybe you've missed your small group or worship. Maybe you've missed your in person yoga class or book club. Whatever it is you've been missing most, let that help you re-enter more purposefully into community connection. Let the longings help you find or sustain authentic connection!
This season of disconnection has helped many of us realize how important connection is in our lives (and to realize what relationships may not have been fruitful too)! We've found ways to connect or stay connected. But what will return to your schedule and what won't? What authentic relationships do you need to continue or what do you need to let go of? God created us for community, not to live life solo! Scripture reminds us, we're better together. Who are you doing life with?
I'm so grateful through our Peace Seekers Community I've been able to hold space for authentic connection near and far in this past year online! Many of us are now pondering how to authentically show up after such a long season of being tucked safely behind our screens. I've pondered this for myself and have created some journaling prompts for you below.
Consider these journaling prompts:
We pondered these questions in our online community this week and it made us more grateful for purposeful soul friends. If you're looking for authentic connection, consider joining us there.
Whitney R. Simpson
Click to connect:
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Whitney R. Simpson
Exploring Peace Ministries, LLC