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personality and prayer

Personality types can reveal to us much about ourselves. Through work with my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I have figured out why I do a lot of the things I do. Since our personalities reach into all aspects of ourselves, I was not surprised to learn there are specific types of prayers that work better for some types as opposed to others. I apologize in advance that I do not exactly where to find the information below. I believe it is at least derived from Prayer and Temperament: Different Prayer Forms for Different Personality Types.
My type, ENFJ, is said to pray in this method:

The ENFJ needs to take time each day to pray alone; if at all possible, sixty minutes would be recommended. During this time the ENFJ should develop the habit of spending half of the prayer-time listening to God and trying to discern God’s will. All four steps of St. Benedict’s Lectio Divina should be used: reading, meditation, prayer, contemplation. Once the “listening” has discerned the direction of God’s will, spontaneous prayer, spoken from the heart in a conversational manner, should be an important part of the ENFJs response to God’s word. This is the Oratio of Lectio Divina.
The ENFJ needs good experiences of community at Eucharist and other public liturgical services. This will be fostered by good congregational singing and other elements of good liturgy. That the ENFJ become a part of the Cursillo Movement, first by attending a Cursillo Weekend and then by some sort of service on a Cursillo Team, is strongly recommended. The ENFJ may benefit from belonging to a prayer group which meets regularly. This may be the small Group Reunion of three for four like-minded persons, advocated for the Fourth Day by the Cursillo Movement, or a larger prayer group. Whatever the size of the group, more than likely the ENFJ will assume much of the responsibility for its leadership, since the ENFJ is the most natural leader of all sixteen types of personality. Such leadership may be assumed subtly even when someone else nominal head of the group, or when no one is actually named as head.
ENFJs do not find the Rosary a prayerful experience because of the monotonous repetition. However, some of them find the recitation of the Rosary, or a mantra or ejaculatory prayer, has a soothing and calming effect when they are agitated. ENFJs should use their personal freedom to experiment with different forms of prayer and different reading material until they find the form or material appropriate for the occasion. ENFJs usually have the ability to use many different types of prayer, and they should make good use of this facility. Usually the Augustinian type of prayer will be preferred. However, with a little effort, the ENFJ is usually able to adopt all the other methods of prayer with much spiritual profit. Thomistic prayer will be the most difficult and require the most effort.
ENFJs can expect even dramatic answers to prayer if their prayer is intense. Some of the experiences noted by ENFJs are: “indescribable peace and joy”, “sensation of warmth”, “sense of divine presence”, “sense of oneness with God”. Many ENFJs find that they have been given the charismatic gift of healing of others through the laying-on of hands. ENFJs should be generous in their willingness to use whatever gifts God may have given them. “Nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1:37). “All things are possible to those who believe” (Mk 9:23).
ENFJs can trust their intuitions, hunches, and sudden ideas which will pop into their minds. They will usually be on target; however, they should be submitted to the judgement of their common sense. Becayse of the ENFJ’s immense power for either good or evil, it is imperative that the ENFJ be most unselfish in serving others. The constant pre-occupation of the ENFJ should be: “how can I do the most good for the most people?”

Personally, I find this very interesting. I have always felt that the Rosary was a very fruitful prayer and felt that when I was upset, it soothed me. However, I always had trouble saying it in a normal situation. For a good time, I thought that perhaps I lacked the discipline. Perhaps rather, my personality has evolved to one where that style of prayer, while remaining fruitful and spiritually profitable, is simply not my preferred type.
The more we know about ourselves and who we are, the more able we are to use our time and talents in the best way possible. Ideally, we’ll use these knowledge to help others but that is not the sole use. Everything from study habits to what course of study to take is somewhat dependent on who we are and who we are not. It is a shame that I did not start probing into my soul until late.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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