Today I’m happy to share a guest post from Ed Cyzewski.  After reading a copy of his newest book, “Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together, I knew he would have something good to share with our community.  Ed practices a type of prayer called the Examen which focuses on awareness and daily reflection concerning the movement of God’s spirit in our lives.  Today Ed shares about how his son helped him become more aware of the presence of God.  

When I
started praying the Examen, I
struggled to answer the question that prompted me to identify a point when I
felt God’s presence. Some days I sensed God’s presence, but on other days
prayer felt like merely reciting words and waiting in silence. I didn’t have
anything in particular I could nail down as a moment when God felt particularly

That started
to change when I prayed with my young son one evening. After my wife and I read
books with him, we started taking turns to pray with him before saying
goodnight. Turning the lights off, I usually kneel down next to his bed where
he’s tucked in and eager to share everything he’s thankful for. We usually
begin with saying thank you for things like his friends, family, church, and
the local children’s science museum. He’s also thanked God for “daddy’s shirt,”
“people watching hockey,” and “mama holding brother.” After he’s exhausted
every possible thing and person he could thank God for, I pray for him.

The prayers
are always short because he’s a toddler with a limited attention span, but the
first time we prayed together, I sensed an immediate connection with God. It
was as if God wanted to love my son through me. Recognizing God’s love for my son opened me to a greater sense of God’s parental love. The simple ritual of
praying with my son eventually opened my eyes to a deeper sense of God’s love
for me and my love for my son.

I started
noticing that prayer wasn’t just a matter of saying thank you or issuing
requests, even if it could be those things. Prayer gets us on the same page
with God.
It shifts our perspectives. I saw how God loves me and loves my son.
My eyes were opened to the possibility that God could be found in other moments
too. In fact, many of the moments I’ve spent with my children since that
epiphany while praying have led to particularly powerful experiences of God’s
presence when I least expected it. 

Responding to my children with mercy or
compassion became a kind of prayer in and of itself.

As I prayed
through each of the questions in my Examen each evening, I started to recognize
God’s presence in the moments when I loved my children.
For all of the times
I’d sat down with prayer books or tried to quiet my mind to meditate on
scripture, God felt most present while I spent time with my kids, whether
praying or playing. The more I see God in these relationships with my children,
the more I’ve become aware of how easily we can wall God’s presence off from
very important areas of our lives.

Today’s post
is an excerpt from Ed’s new book: Pray,
Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together
which is on sale this Monday and Tuesday for $.99!

is the author of Pray, Write,
Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together
, A Christian Survival Guide and Coffeehouse
. He blogs about prayer, writing, and imperfectly following Jesus
at and offers two free eBooks to
newsletter subscribers.

*   *   *   *

Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.

What if we chose to deliberately look for the small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God? 

That’s my proposal – that we might gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days. 

You’re invited to link-up a brief post of about five hundred words or less about a small moment of wonder.  Don’t worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right – you’re welcome to come as you are.  

While you’re here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.   

Sustainable Spirituality

Sustainable Spirituality

Design a spiritual life that works for your life. Sign up now to receive my FREE GUIDE explaining the top 5 characteristics of sustainable spirituality.

When you get the FREE guide you are also subscribing to Quiet Lights, my bi-monthly email containing contemplative resources and writing.

Thanks for subscribing! Check your email inbox for a link to download the free gift.