Prayer and Puppies

How does your personality and temperament impact your prayer life and the way in which you spend time with God?

This was a question I posed yesterday because it is an area I am beginning to explore. Personally I loved a silent 10 day retreat - but is that because I am by temperament introverted (Myers Briggs INTJ) or melancholic (Littauer) ? Were I an extrovert would I prefer a congregation of 10,000 loudly praising, singing, dancing? Or is it not as simple as that? So I have decided to do some more investigation - could this be an important step for you, for me, for those I work with as Spiritual Director or lead on Pilgimages and retreats? My first step was to email the Christian business Consultant who works with the staff at our church, and who is somewhat of an expert on the Myers Briggs method of personality testing. He has suggested two books: Pray Your Way by Bruce Duncan, an old book looking at types of prayer based on your Myers Briggs Indicator;  and  Your Personality and the Spiritual Life by Reginald Johnson, another older book whose subtitle says that Understanding who you are can deepen your relationship with God . Researching those led me on to Personality and Prayer, by Ruth Fowke which looks at finding and extending the prayer style which suits your  personality. So these books will soon be dropping on to my doormat and  hopefully helping me in this journey of investigation. And if you know of any other good resources might you let me know?  Thank you! And I will be blogging more about this - it so obviously is something that intrigues many of us, judging by the sheer volume of people looking at the post yesterday.

On an entirely different note , here's something we are really enjoying.  Take a look : it' s SO CUTE and will make you smile!





Myers-Briggs.  You either love it or hate it!  Or the Enneagram; or Florence Littauer; or any other personality plus or temperament type. This was circulating on SM the other day: did you find yourself?

So often we are told how to pray - or even when to pray - and it seems that 'one size fits all.'  For years and years, I knew that I had to have a 'Quiet Time' every morning - half an hour set aside first thing, to read my Bible (using the prescribed daily notes) and pray. It was a good routine and an excellent habit.  It suits many people. The days I did that and could tick it off my 'to do' list were good ones. Time with God - check. Now I can get on with the rest of the day.

But it set me up for failure; for guilt and more guilt as I failed day after day. I got behind and then had so many days to catch up it hardly seemed worth it. The questions in the Notes did not seem to elicit the 'right' answers from me.  I would start again - on January 1st; on a Monday; my birthday, the first of the month. Sometimes it worked and I carried on. Sometimes it did not.

Now I can tell you that there are so many other ways to pray, to read the Bible, to connect with God. No longer do I tick the Quiet Time off my to do list and move on. Instead,  I want to practice the Presence of God throughout the day.

Over the past weeks we've looked at a thirty second retreat, a one minute retreat, a day retreat, even a 10 day silent retreat.

For those who are quieter introverts, happy  with their own company, a retreat can work very well.

But what if you are a madly extroverted extrovert? How would you best spend time in prayer? What helps you connect most with the Lord?

I would love to hear from different personalities!

What's your personality? And what's most helpful for you in spending time with God? Where do you connect best? What sort of retreats (if any) do you find most helpful? What suggestions can you make for those with your personality/temperament type?