Experience God's Presence
I think that many in the past two years have had the experience of struggling to feel God's presence. Maybe you have always struggled to experience His presence. But even though we may not feel God's presence, we know that God is present everywhere, and is always present with us through the indwelling Holy Spirit. The goal of this week is to pursue a greater awareness of the presence of God who is always with us. We want to experience His loving presence in a real and powerful way.
Formational Practice: Examen
This practice is a way to reflect on the moments of our day to notice all the ways God is present with us and "shows up" throughout all the highs and lows of daily life.
At the end of the day (and mid-day as well if you would like) we want to prayerfully pause to reflect on our day and have the Holy Spirit help us identify the times and ways God was present with us.
As you take time to practice Examen, choose one of these pairs of questions to prayerfully bring to God:
For what moment today am I most grateful? For what moment today am I least grateful?
When did I give and receive the most love today? When did I give and receive the least love today?
When today did I have the deepest sense of connection with God, others, and myself? When today did I have the least sense of connection?
Where was I aware to living out of the fruit of the Spirit? Where was there an absence of the fruit of the Spirit?
If you are a parent who would like to practice Examen with your kids, this resource can be helpful: https://renovare.org/messages/examen-for-families
1. Become aware of God's presence
2. Review the day and look for graces
When did you encounter goodness, the fruit of the Spirit, etc?
3. Review the day and look back for growth
When did we have a chance to show kindness or generosity, but we were unkind or ungenerous?
4. Talk with Jesus about it
5. Think about tomorrow
Other formational practice ideas: Worship
Spend intentional time this week engaging activities that cause your heart to worship God.
https://garythomas.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/sacredpathways.pdf has some specific suggestions for people who experience God in all different kinds of ways. The suggestions include prayer practices, specific songs that may be meaningful, etc.
Communal practice ideas: Congregational worship night
GC ideas: Everyone bring something that causes them to be worshipful to share with their GC (song, poem, liturgy, art, etc). Experience together what causes your brothers and sisters in Christ to worship.