The prayer of examine – set aside time

By Dave Henning / August 8, 2021

“The prayer of examine is built on the belief that if we pay attention to our lives, every moment is an opportunity to learn unceasing prayer (1 Thess. 5:17).  This prayer is an examination of one of our most precious commodities, our time.  If we do not set aside time to intentionally consider moment by moment, our days and weeks, then much of our time will go by unnoticed.”- Kyle Strobel

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

In Chapter 8 (“Being Watchful”) of Where Prayer Becomes Real, Kyle Strobel talks about the prayer of examine.  Kyle states that his prayer requires a watchfulness of heart and life.  In order that we offer our lives to the Lord in full.  Hence, in the prayer of examine we allow our lives to speak.

Therefore, we only know the truth when we examine our lives.  And as we recognize the depth of our sin and brokenness, that allows us to embrace God more deeply.  Yet, the goal isn’t self-knowledge for its own sake.  Rather, the goal consists of examining your life with God.  To explore your life in the context of God’s presence and grace.

Above all, self-examination serves as a key aspect of training our hearts for watchfulness (see Colossians 4:32).  Certainly, Kyle notes it’s easy not to be watchful.  To pray through a list on our agenda.  And get it over with.  However, as Kyle explains:

“Watchfulness requires our patient attending to our experience in God’s presence.  Watchfulness is the posture of the heart that seeks God honestly in reality, and not fantasy.  But being watchful in prayer cannot be turned on like a switch.  It stems from a heart not merely attuned to one’s own agenda but attuned to itself and God in truth.”

In conclusion, Kyle stresses, we also must watch over what we fail to say in prayer.  We need to consider what parts of our lives we don’t bring to God.  The longings, desire, and fantasies we withhold from Him.

Today’s question: When have you prayed a prayer of examine?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A deep excavation – the prayer of examine”

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Dave Henning

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