The Daily Review (Examen)

Adapted from Ruth Haley Barton


Take time to quiet yourself in God’s presence. Allow yourself to be still and know how much God loves you. Hear God say to you, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”


Invite God to go with you in your search for evidence of his presence throughout your day and in your search for self-knowledge.

Review the Day.

Identify the major events of your day, including your spiritual practices, meals, appointments, interactions with others, and significant events at work. Reflect on the events of your day, starting at the beginning, and ask God to show you where he was present with you and you were not aware of it. Move through the different aspects of your day—waking up, showering, eating breakfast, being with your family, working out, getting to work, each of the meetings or tasks you engaged in, the people you met and interacted with, decisions you made, your trip home, dinner with family, whatever brings you to the current moment. Reflect on each of the events, noticing where God seemed to be loving, speaking to you, guiding you or showing you something new about himself.

Give Gratitude.

Give thanks for each part of your day. Notice moments of gratitude, love, peace, guidance, authenticity, protection or wisdom that seemed to come from beyond yourself. Notice those moments when you sensed a growing freedom from sin and a greater capacity to love God and others. Notice when you felt that Jesus was near to you in some special way. Notice those times in your day that were life-giving (when you felt close to God) and life-draining (when God felt distant or absent). Notice also those times your heart was burning within you. Give thanks to God for his presence with you. Notice those moments of unresolved issues or questions pertaining to the events of the day, express those to God, and allow yourself to experience gratitude for God’s presence with you even in places that feel dark or confusing. Notice moments that felt empty, confusing, stressing or draining, unworkable or frustrating. Notice also moments when you were not your best self and felt disconnected from God. Notice without judging. If God felt absent, ask him to show you evidence of his presence. If the source of feeling God’s absence is something you have control over, ask God what it would look like to choose life next time. Give God thanks for his presence with you. Confession. Invite God to bring to mind attitudes, actions or moments that were sinful or in which you fell short of exhibiting the character of Christ or the fruit of the Spirit. As God brings different areas to mind, reflect on what contributed to the situation and what might enable you to respond differently in the future.

Ask Forgiveness.

Ask for forgiveness. Express your willingness to take any concrete steps needed to allow Christ’s character to be more fully formed in you. Hear God’s words of assurance of forgiveness of sin, “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Be assured in God’s power to continue leading you into the transformation you desire. Ask God if there is anything you need to do to make things right regarding what you have confessed.

Seek Out Spiritual Friendship or Spiritual Direction.

Seek out a spiritual friend or a spiritual director to tell them what you are discovering about yourself, offer your confession and your resolve to pursue transformation in this area. When you have completed this process, express gratitude to God for guiding you and for the goodness of his ongoing presence.