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Self-Direction at the End of the Day

by Rev. Laurie Garramone-Rohr, CE Coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of Albany

Many, many people have asked me about Spiritual Direction and Directors. The truth is that there are not enough Directors to go around, but we always have the most faithful and loving Director available to us at all times in the presence of the Father, Son and Spirit of our triune God. So it might be helpful to walk you through an exercise of personal spiritual direction that you can use daily, weekly or at any time that you feel a need to have your life examined by God. I’ve structured this as an end-of-day activity, but it can be easily transformed into a time of prayer and examination in the morning if that works better for you.

Note: While I have used the title of ‘God’ for this exercise, some people are helped most specifically by visualizing one aspect of the Trinity more than others—or you may find that at different times either the Father, the Son or the Spirit seems more present to you.

  1. Relax; calm your breathing and your body. Remind yourself that God is with you. Try to let your concerns and work go away for a few moments.
  2. Ask God to allow you to look back over your day so that you can see the times that God was close to you and caring for you. (You might receive this in words, pictures or both.) Begin with your first awake moments and then let the events of the day move through your consciousness. Are there places where you clearly see God’s care in your life? God’s presence? God’s revelation? God’s love? God’s peace?
  3. Thank God for experiences or moments where you clearly saw Him at work in your life and/or in the world around you. Did you finish a project? Have a good conversation with a co-worker? Stick to your diet? Spend time with family or friends that you love?
  4. Now check to see if there are places where you notice the absence of God in your day. Are there places of fear, anger or bitterness? Are there situations that are out of your control that you wish were in your control? Were you or was someone else ill or in pain? Do you see the need for God in these places? Now that you are looking at these places, can you see God’s presence in ways that you did not notice before? Can you ask God to heal situations that have caused unrest, sadness or anger in your day?
  5. End with thanksgiving by saying the Our Father, Psalms 84, 86, 98, 100, 103 or any others of your choice. You can also find excellent examples of psalms that you can pray when your heart is not quiet, when you are sad or afraid: Psalms 46, 55, 56, 142 may help during these times. You may also end with your own words of prayer.

Once we have gone through the events of the day, we can spend some time in silence and let God ‘direct’ our thoughts and prayers. If we are looking for guidance or direction from God, the important thing to remember is that we need to spend some time in a receiving mode—listening, emptying ourselves of anger or other thoughts, and making room for God to reveal his will for us.

Here are some questions we might ask ourselves as we sit in silence:

  1. What pictures or images came to mind?
  2. Did any particular concern or idea keep repeating itself?
  3. Did you have any prayer inspirations?
  4. Do you have the sense that God is leading/steering you in a particular path of forgiveness/repentance/devotion/action?
  5. Do you feel any sense of letting go or of peacefulness?

Please feel free to send questions or comments to Mother Laurie here

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