Monday, June 18, 2018

Prayerful Self-Examination

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Although they lived more than a century apart, and in very different contexts, both Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556) and John Wesley (1703–1791) wanted spiritual transformation in their lives. Each created a means of self-examination to make it happen. Ignatius developed an “examining” prayer. He prayed it twice daily in order to discern if he was moving toward or away from God. Wesley developed a series of questions that he asked himself each evening. Among them, “Did the Bible live in me today?” And, “Am I enjoying prayer?” Oh that we would be like minded!

They weren’t the first to do it. Prayerful examination is rooted in the Bible. Israel’s King David is a prime example. In Psalm 139, he asked God to examine his heart inside and out. He wanted to draw closer to God, so he needed to examine his motives and behavior. He wanted God to identify even the hidden sins — anything that was offensive to God. Only then could he seek forgiveness and stay on the everlasting way.

How about it, dear reader? The best thing we can do right now is to ask God to examine our hearts. Then, prayerfully consider how we can draw closer to the Lord throughout the day. 

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting. 

Psalm 139.23-24

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