I can remember saying my prayers as a little girl; I would pray on my knees beside my bed just like the little girl in the picture plaque I had hanging on my wall that I received as a gift for my First Communion. It sounds peaceful and idealistic but I shared a bedroom with my older sister who didn’t appreciate me saying my prayers out loud every night! I can remember telling her to ‘be quiet’ while I tried to say the prayers that I had memorized. It would usually start an argument and much to my frustration my Mom, in her gentle voice, would say “Angie, you need to concentrate on what you are saying, learn to block out the noise around you.”
As and adult when I say a prayer, it has become more of a conversation with God. I don’t try to block out the ‘noise’ around me but rather am trying to learn how to handle the ‘negative’ around me. It is so easy to get caught up in the negativity we hear and see in the media, at work, at school, and seemingly everywhere in our daily lives. So many people obsess with what is wrong, they sometimes forget to look at what is right. I am using the daily examine as a basis for learning how to deal with my day to day struggles and joys. I take the time to look over my day and re-live the joys, and give thanks for the blessings in my life. I reflect on my words, and actions, to realize where my words or behaviours may have hurt someone. I ask God to help me be conscious of not hurting others, and if I have, to apologise to them. It helps me to forgive those who may have said or done something that may have hurt me.
I wonder if everyone took time to pray the daily examine, or use it like I do, to reflect on their day, would people learn to focus more on their daily joys? Would you be able to see where you may have done or said something that may have hurt someone? If you did, could you apologise? Would you apologise?
I still like the prayers I said as a child but learning a new way to pray has helped me grow in my relationship with God. I don’t use the daily examine the way it is intended just yet but I am building up to it! If you are unfamiliar with the daily examine, research it and see if it might appeal to you.