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  • David

    August 24, 2022 at 6:40 am

    The Seedbed Daily Text, August 24, 2022

    The “prayer of relinquishment” is an important aspect of surrender and submission in our “Ten Stops of Transformation.” I like the way JD puts it, “It is this gloriously challenging work of de-centering from self for the sake of an ever deepening attachment to Jesus.” As Richard Foster says, it is “a bona fide let­ting go, but it is a release with hope. We have no fatal­ist res­ig­na­tion.” It is not a Que sera, sera (whatever will, will be) release of control and concern. It is an acceptance and relinquishment based on faith and trust in God. That He has something better, deeper, and higher in mind for us.

    I think one of the reasons that we don’t practice this prayer is that many of us don’t feel like we have any thing to relinquish. Everything is going pretty well thank you. I am living the American (my) dream. I am not sick or afflicted. I am not in hiding or running from anyone that is trying to kill me. My church offers me Cheap-Grace; tells me that God loves me just like I am; and not to worry about any sin in my life. It probably is not a sin anyway; Satan doesn’t really exist; and the Bible is a flawed document. Most churches today, are all about high invitation and woefully short of high challenge or Scriptural Holiness.

    This is where I believe the “prayer of examen” is needed. Again, we can turn to Richard Foster, one of the most celebrated religious authors of the Twentieth Century, for guidance. His book, Prayer: finding the heart’s true home is a must read in my opinion. As defined by Foster, the prayer of examen is “a devotional exercise involving reflection on and moral evaluation of one’s thoughts and conduct, typically performed on a daily basis.” According to Foster this practice has two dimensions: “the Examen of Consciousness and the Examen of Conscience. The Examen of Consciousness reveals the presence of God in our day and how we have responded to his presence. The Examen of Conscience reveals to us what areas of our lives need God’s hand in cleansing, purifying, and healing.”

    My favorite Biblical foundation for the prayer of examen is Psalm 139, especially verses 23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. If you will prayerfully engage in this spiritual practice, I guarantee that you will have much to relinquish. I know I do.