“While prayers of examine may have a general rhythm to them — walking through our days with the Lord to consider our lives in his presence — they can also become times to sit and deeply consider something too significant to ignore. . . . The prayer of examine is a deep excavation of one’s life with God, regardless of what comes to the surface.”- Kyle Strobel
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”- 2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV)
Kyle Strobel concludes Chapter 8 of Where Prayer Becomes Real as he describes three things that happen when he regularly practices self-examination.
1. He tends to pray more for others. Kyle often recalls that someone clearly needed prayer of that he promised to pray for someone. In the normal course of the day, he would have forgotten. But now Kyle has the space ready to bring them before God.
2. Kyle finds himself more thankful. Because prayers of examine help Kyle to attend to the little things. As he prays through his thankfulness, he gets more in touch with it. Hence, Kyle experiences and sits with a thankful heart. So, his thankfulness bubbles up to God.
3. He’s more aware of themes in his life and patterns of behavior. Kyle’s aware of how these things shape his life. And he increasingly recognizes how these things govern and shape his decision.
Therefore, during the prayer of examine you enter more deeply into what’s going on in your life. Instead of simply offering a quick prayer to God to ‘fix it.’ For when you allow the Lord’s shepherding in these matters, you’re more open to how these realities train you in humility and dependence.
In conclusion, Kyle explains:
“We recall [our sins] so we can consider more deeply what God has done for us, how he forgives and loves us in the present, and how our past sins or experiences continue to form us to this day. We don’t examine our sins in themselves: we examine our lives and sins as those in Christ. Our goal is to live in reality with god, who calls us to live with him in all things.”
Today’s question: Have you conducted a deep excavation of your life with God? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Intercession – one obvious mode of prayer?”