May 13, 2020

Tips for Brides
How to Pray the Daily Examen for Couples

Bride in elegant lace wedding dress holding hands with groom

One of the beautiful things about marriage is the way our lives become one with another person. You are joining your lives together in body and in soul.

Many pray for their future spouse. Especially when we are teenagers, right? We knelt down asking God…when on earth am I going to find the one? Who is this person that I am called to marry? By the way… here is a list of all the qualities I hope my future spouse will possess.

We prayed for them. Which was great for that season.

But once you’re in that relationship, how do you transition to praying with your future spouse? Not only in the public prayers at mass, not just side-by-side in silent prayer, but out loud together.

Y’all that is vulnerable! Yet, oh so important. Especially when you desire Christ to be at the center of your relationship and your marriage.

One simple way to start doing that is to incorporate a Daily Examen to the middle or end of your day.

WHAT IS A DAILY EXAMEN?

The Daily Examen comes from St. Ignatius of Loyola. We love the definition that the Ignatian Spirtuality website which describes the examen as “a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us.”

This practice is typically done individually, but we also think there is great fruit from doing this together as a couple.

A typical Examen goes like this:

  1. Gratitude: Thank God for the ways He’s worked in our lives today
  2. Petition: Ask the Holy Spirit to make our prayer fruitful
  3. Review: Look at the ways we cooperated with God and the ways we resisted His grace.
  4. Forgiveness: Ask God for His mercy on the ways we failed today
  5. Renewal: Make a concrete commitment to continue or change something tomorrow.

HOW TO PRAY THE EXAMEN AS A COUPLE

We recommend going through the steps of the Examen first with a focus on your own personal relationship in Christ, then repeating each step with a lens on your relationship as a couple.

  1. Open in prayer together.
  2. Take 5-10 minutes to pray the Examen individually
  3. Share an insight with one another from gratitude. Ask the other person: how did the Lord work in your life today and how did you cooperate?
  4. Share your renewal with one another. Ask the other person: what are you committing to continuing or changing tomorrow? How can I support you and encourage you through that?
  5. Close in prayer.

OUR FINAL THOUGHTS AND SUGGESTIONS:

Depending on the stage of your relationship (especially if you are not yet married), you may not feel ready to share everything you reviewed from your day with your significant other and that’s okay! This is why we emphasize sharing one insight from gratitude and renewal together as a starting point. As your relationship grows, so too should your willingness to share and be vulnerable with your spouse. 

Some sins bring a heavy burden and shame. We recommend that if you intend to marry this person, that you share these wounds with your spouse. However, be prudent with when and how you do so. Bring that to the Holy Spirit in your petition. The devil thrives on our secrecy, fears, and isolation. The Lord brings peace, communion, and mercy.

This exercise requires humility, but it is intended to be positive, encouraging, and help you see that God is present around you and through one another. You are worthy of His love and mercy. Our spouses play a profound role in showing us that love and mercy in practice which can be a powerful vehicle for healing wounds. Use this daily examen as a starting point for sharing more of your faith life together and supporting one another to live your life fully alive as the people God created each us to be.

Daily examen for couples by Katzie and Ben Photography

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