Rediscovering John Wesley's Prayers of Examen: Prayers for the Love of God


Today is the last day in the series of prayers from Wesley.  In the original prayers, they began on Sunday rather than ending here.  I am not sure just why I chose to change them up and begin on Monday but something about coming to the end on Sunday seemed to me right.  I would certainly love to hear feedback from this week if you practiced these prayers.  I know for me, taking the time to write these down and thus pray through them, considering every word, was humbling.  More than that, it did change me, it made me consider, in depth, my choices through the day.  It made me consider whether I was just praying prayers because I should or was I praying in such a way that I would come to be Christ lived out in my little spot of the world?  For sure, I did come to discover a depth to my tradition and the spirituality of John Wesley.  Grace to you on the last day of this journey.

Sunday: Love of God

MORNING

Prayer
with permission by Rassing
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, I, your unworthy servant, desire to give myself to you with complete humility. This morning I come before you to offer my sacrifice of love and thanksgiving. Glory be to you, most adorable Father. After you had finished working upon creation, you set aside your time to rest.

Glory be to you, O holy Jesus who through the eternal Spirit, offered yourself as a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. You rose again from the dead on the third day and received all power both in heaven and on earth.

Glory be to you, O blessed Spirit, who came from the Father and the Son. You came in tongues of fire on the apostles on the first day of the week and enabled them to preach the glad tidings of salvation to a sinful world. Ever since, you have been moving on the faces of the souls of humanity just as you did once on the great deep, bringing them out of that dark chaos where they were involved.

Glory be to you, holy, undivided Trinity for working together in the great work of our redemption and restoring us again to glorious freedom as the children of God! Let you Holy Spirit, who descended with miraculous gifts on your Apostles on the first day of the week, descend on me, your unworthy servant so I may always be ‘in the spirit on the Lord’s day’…

Let me join the prayers and praises of your church with fierce and heavenly passion, hear your word with serious attention and a focused determination to obey it. And when I approach your altar, pour into my heart, humility, faith, hope, love, and those holy characteristics which reflect the sacred remembrance of a crucified Savior…

O merciful God, whatever you deny me, do not deny me your love…Let me never love another, but for your sake, and in submission to your love. Take full possession of my heart; build your throne there, and take control in my heart as you do in heaven…

Let the prayers and sacrifices of your holy Church, offered to you on this day, be graciously accepted.



EVENING

with permission by geri-jean
General questions which a serious Christian may ask themselves before beginning evening devotions.

1. How much focus and passion did I put into my morning prayers both public and private?
2. Have I done anything without a current, or at least a previous thought about its immediate or remote possibility of giving glory to God?
3. This morning, did I consider what particular good I was going to do, what business I had to do in the day?
4. Have I been zealous to “get after it” and active in doing every good thing I could?
5. Have I been too focused on other people’s business more than love required?
6. Before I visited with someone or was visited by someone, consider how I might give or receive suggestions?
7. Have I spoke about anyone’s failings or faults when it was not necessary for their good?
8. Did I unnecessarily grieve anyone because of words I spoke or deeds I did?
9. Before or in every action, did I consider how it might be something that would make the day better?

Particular Questions relative to the Love of God
1. Did I set aside part of this day to think about God’s perfections and mercies?
2. Have I worked to make this day a day of heavenly rest, set aside for divine love?
3. Have I used the moments of it in doing good and showing mercy that were not already being used for prayer, reading and meditation?

Prayer
My Father, my God…I celebrate you…for washing me through your baptism, and teaching me your way of truth and holiness…for allowing me and all my Christian brothers and sisters, to worship you in times of public worship. I celebrate that you so often feed my soul with the gifts of your most precious body and blood. They are promises of your love and they give me strength and comfort. Be gracious to all of us whom you, this day (or at any time) allowed to come to your holy table.

My Father, my God, save me, I call on you from all sinful actions; I know how these can be huge barriers to being able to know you and love you…Save me, O God, from an obsession of workaholism even in the little things…teach me to be about all my work and chores with a true detachment in my heart so I may be able to see you in all things…and that I may never stop that freedom of spirit which is necessary to be able to love you.

Deliver me, God, from a lazy mind, from all lukewarmness and all lowness in my spirit…Deliver me, O God, from all love that might be idolatrous towards another…

Above all, deliver me, my God, from all idolatrous love of my self…

By loving you, O my God, may my soul be fixed against its natural inconsistency…May your holy flame ever warm my heart that I may serve you with all my might; and make it consume all the selfish desires in my heart. In this way and in all things, I might no longer focus on me but you.

My God, let your glorious name be rightly honored and loved by all the creatures which you have made. Let you infinite goodness and greatness always be worshipped by all angels, women and men. May your church, the universal seedbed of divine love, be protected from the powers of darkness. Give to everyone who calls themselves by your name, one short glimpse of your goodness…

Send out your blessed Spirit into the midst of these sinful nations and make us a holy people…

Change the hearts of my enemies, and give me grace to forgive them, just like you forgave us, for Christ’s sake. Shepherd of Israel, give me this night and every night, your protection; accept my poor actions and forgive how sinful the actions were as well as my holy duties.

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