Week Five Guide for Groups
Gather together as a community. Open with some time for connecting and socializing, then leave about 45 minutes to an hour for the time of practice and discussion.
Open with a Scripture Reading
Invite someone to read Luke 6:39-49 NIV
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Discuss This Week's Practices
If you are in a community of ten or more, consider dividing into smaller groups. Spend a few minutes catching up on life, then talk through the following questions:
1) Have you tried the Examen practice from this week? What was it like for you?
2) Have you found reflecting on your day and noticing God’s presence to be difficult in your life?
3) Have you tried any of the previous week’s practices again? If so, what was your experience like?
Practice Prayer Together
After your discussion, spend some time practicing prayer together. When it comes to the prayer of Examen, it can often be very helpful to have an audio guide. Self guided prayer can be wonderful, but using a trusted source can help us slow down and engage each step of the prayer of Examen together.
Below are two audio guides that you can consider using in your group. The first is a ten minute audio guide through the prayer of examen. The second option is a little less than 30 minutes, and it is a creative way of praying the examen with music woven throughout.
Pick one and pray together as a group.
Audio Guide One
Ten minute audio guide to the Examen
After the time of prayer, consider using these prompts for a brief discussion.
- How was that time of prayer for you? Was it meaningful, difficult, boring, profound, etc?
- How do you see yourself engaging with the practices the rest of this week?
- How can we be praying for you this week?