Many pray the Examen on their own, reflecting on their own life in the last 24 hours. This Examen’s focus is on being a part of a family. You may pray it with your family or on your own. If prayed with family members it might be fruitful to share your prayer experience with one another at the conclusion of the prayer.
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When God created human beings, we became part of the Family of Creation. The Bible even says we are adopted into God’s family. Sit with this reality for a few moments: Each cell in my body, each chromosome, and strand of DNA is amazingly connected to God’s Family of Creation. And consider all of us as descendants of Abraham, one of the countless stars of his future children, bound up in relationship, a people chosen by God.
Now let us consider our own immediate family, made up of parents, spouses, children, sisters, and brothers. I bring their faces into my mind’s eye, and with God, gaze upon their faces with love. Regardless of their faults, they have been given to me. They are my family.
What are some important moments I’ve shared with my family? I let them arise in my mind naturally and relish those moments in my heart. Why were those moments so important?
Now I consider my role in my family. Am I a son or a daughter? A mother or a father? A sister or a brother? A husband or a wife? In what ways have I made my family closer? And in what ways have I caused fractures among us?
My immediate family is an important part of the larger human family contributing to the good of creation. How can I contribute to a more loving family? What do I need to ask God for as I hope for deeper union and harmony within my closest relationships?
Let us close with a prayer for families:
Heavenly Father, Please shine your light upon my family. Give us strength to overcome all of the difficulties that we are dealing with now and protect us against any and all problems we may encounter in the future. O Lord, please bring us together as we are meant to be. May the love that binds us only grow stronger as we fulfill the destiny you have laid out for us.
Grant my family forgiveness for any sins we have committed. May we also forgive one another Lord, as it is sometimes difficult to do.
Bless us Lord, In your name I pray, Amen.
If you’re praying this with your family you may want to take this time to share your experience of prayer. Or, spend this time speaking to Jesus—a member of your own family—about what you experienced.