Review of Prayer

After you have finished reciting the Our Father at the end of your prayer time, take a brief time for another exercise: Review of Prayer.

You already know what a Review of Prayer is like.  Imagine that you sit alone after a long visit with a great friend.  The two of you covered a lot of ground.  You might have talked a bit about politics.  About other friends.  About your own long-established friendship.  As you sit remembering, you can recall certain sentences that one of you said, and identify feelings you had at certain junctures.  You know "what you talked about" and can name the general feeling of your time together - good, or wonderful, or painful.  You know there are things still unresolved or unfinished, things still to be said.  When you make a Review of Prayer, you do very much that same thing.

Jotting down in a notebook what occurs to you, look back over your prayer time to see what you did and what you experienced.  Understand, you need not do and experience over again; that’s a different exercise.  You need only note what you did and experienced.

For instance, note how you started.  Note the major idea or ideas that occurred to you.  What conviction or convictions did you come to?  Did you have any strong feelings or emotions?  Were they rather disturbing, or even fearful?  Did you feel love for God? resentful toward God?

You may find only one or two things to note, or you might find a great deal.  God will deal with you curiously at various times.

Try to be careful to note any thoughts, affects, convictions that were particularly strong.  Did something make you really fearful? fill you with disgust? make you doubt your belief somehow?  Or did something make you feel very happy in God? give you greater sureness in your choices? make you sense how deep your life in Christ goes?  Note each of those carefully, particularly the movements that were very strong - the black holes and the volcanoes.

Take the "climate" of your prayer.  A still summer afternoon? A stormy winter night?  A breezy morning?  A very, very long and dull afternoon?