Our community has a “soul question.”
Or more precisely, a series of “soul questions”, an examination of conscience we regularly undertake that we simply call affectionately, our “Examen.” If you would like to listen to an audio file of our “Prayer of Examen” you can find it here, as well as other prayers of our community here. Here is the format of our Examen below:
Welcome to this ___________ Noonday Examen. We are a fellowship of believers sharing a common Rule of Life through rhythms of Sunday worship, work, and prayer. We try to meet at least __________ for one hour, for the purposes of self-examination and Christian discipleship. We try to find quiet, uninterrupted places to meet; you are welcome to eat during this time. This is the vision we have for our community:
Woven Church exists...
To be a diverse church community for the greater Houston metro area
that is desegregating Sunday and sanctifying Monday to Friday
through insightful teaching, intentional discipleship, and holistic outreach.
We lay out some common ground rules that facilitate a good and orderly meeting. First of all, no cross talk please. Cross talk is interrupting, fixing, or offering unsolicited advice during a share. We refrain from saying anything until the person sharing is done. Upon closing a share, we simply reply with the spiritual discipline of gratitude. “Thanks” or “thank you for sharing” suffices. You may also take a “pass” if you do not wish to share after a particular question. After the meeting is concluded, the “parking lot” will be open for feedback, continued sharing, or any other conversation. Please limit your shares to 2 minutes per share, as each goes in turn as determined by facilitator.
Questions for sharing, based on Woven Prayer of Examen
What are you grateful for today?
(God, I am grateful for today.)
What do you need to take notice of today?
(As I review my day, what should I take notice of?)
What do I really need from God today?
(Please shed your light and show me what I really need.)
Where was I resentful, selfish, dishonest, afraid, or any other strong emotion?
(Where was I resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid?)
Do I own an apology or have any outstanding amends to make?
(Do I owe an apology?)
Am I hiding anything that for danger to my soul needs to get out into the open as soon as possible?
(Have I kept something to myself which should be discussed with another person at once?)
Was I kind and loving towards all or was I thinking of myself most of the time?
(Was I kind and loving towards all or was I thinking of myself most of the time?)
What do I need to do different today?
(Forgive me for my harms and show me what corrective measures I should be taking.)
What action steps will I undertake for the next 24 hours?
(This I do, in Jesus’ name, Amen.)
That’s all the time we have for shares. Our next meeting date and time will be _________. Let us not give up meeting together, instead, let us encourage one another all the more, as we see the day drawing near (Hebrews 10:25). We are a fellowship of attraction, not promotion, and therefore as people are drawn to us, all are welcomed to this meeting, from any walk of life without discrimination or segregation, provided that they are seeking an authentic spiritual experience in the person of Christ.
We will close with a moment of silence followed by altogether saying (prayer of facilitator’s choice).
THE PARKING LOT IS NOW OPEN.
Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways;
Reclothe us in our rightful mind;
In purer lives Your service find,
In deeper reverence praise.
Drop your still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Your peace.
Breathe through the heat of our desire
Your coolness and Your balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through earthquake, wind and fire,
O still small voice of calm!
In simple trust like theirs who heard,
Beside the Syrian sea,
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word,
Rise up and follow Thee.
God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at my end, and at my departing.
AA Third Step Prayer
God I offer myself to Thee,
to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy love & Thy way of life.
May I do Thy will always.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
A Prayer for my Enemy
May you be happy, May you be free,
May you be loving, May you be loved,
May every fiber of your being resonate to the glory
To which God calls you,
May you be successful in every endeavor,
May you experience the fullness of peace in body and soul,
May you know the Lord in all his goodness,
May you forgive every transgression,
I forgive you with all my heart and soul,
May you know what it means to be a child of God,
May you experience the glory of possessing the kingdom of God,
May you live and walk in peace and fellowship
With all of God’s creatures,
May every blessing be yours,
May goodness and love show itself in everything,
That you do and all that is done to you,
May you be one with all of God’s creation,
May you experience the blessings of God’s grace for all eternity!