A Pandemic Examen for the Church
Katie Harmon-McLaughlin, Spiritual Formation Ministries
We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. -Ephesians 4:14-16
Holy One, we pray to review our time living through this global pandemic in the light of your love and grace. May we see ourselves and each other through your vision and recognize that you have been present in all things and conditions.
- We review our memories from the beginning of the pandemic until now. Who were we at the beginning of 2020? What priorities or concerns were present then that have shifted now? Prayerfully enter silence and let memories surface of pre-pandemic life, the beginning of the pandemic, and all that has occurred until now. Whether significant or seemingly mundane, simply notice whatever memories come to mind without discrimination.
- Though this was a painful time for our global community, we pray to become aware of where God’s light was shining through the darkness. For what have we been most grateful? When has the spirit of goodness brought healing or peace? When did we feel God’s love and presence? What did we discover about what matters most? Let memories surface and give thanks.
- We offer our confession and lament for all that was revealed in this time about suffering, injustice, and our addictions to patterns and priorities that have not been life-giving. Gently and without judgement, we pray to become aware of the ways we have been out of alignment with God’s deeper vision and call for our lives and communities. What has been revealed in this pandemic about what needs to transform in us as we come back together? When do our own agendas and attachments to “what has always been” get in the way of what God is inviting now?
- We offer our future to God. We have been formed and changed in our time being physically apart. We pray that God will dream new dreams within us as we come back together. We commit to enacting what we have learned and discovered and pray for the courage to live into God’s unfolding future with faith and trust. Amen.
“Discern what is the will of God” (Romans 12:2).
The heart of discernment is listening for God. God speaks and reveals in many ways-through nature, the voice of a friend, or a deeper knowing in our own souls. How can you create space today to listen for God in your life? What do you hear when you take time to slow down and listen?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
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