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A Day at the Beach Exploring the prayer style that fits your personality

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once visited a retreat centre where the meals were eaten in silence. The guests assembled silently, chose their food from the buffet silently and sat together to eat silently. Some found the silence relaxing, even refreshing. Others quickly gathered outside the dining room doors as soon as the meal was over, eager to break the silence with boisterous talk. How we communicate with each other reflects our personalities. Extroverts are energized by talk, activity and people. Introverts, although they can enjoy crowds, are energized by time alone. 20  September 2015  Salvationist

Extroverts never seem stuck for words; they talk in order to clarify what they are thinking and feeling. Introverts prefer to internally process their thoughts before speaking them. How we communicate with each other is also connected to how we communicate with God—how we pray. Ruth Fowke begins her book, Personality and Prayer: Finding and Extending the Prayer Style that Suits your Personality, with a quote from Abbot John Chapman: “Pray as you can, don’t try to pray as you can’t.” This clumsy sentence offers liberating advice. Prayer is not “one size fits all.”

What is your prayer style? See the chart on the following page for ways to go deeper in prayer, based on your personality (Courtesy: Lyndall Bywater)

We are all different and what fits for one may not fit for another. As an introvert, I need to enter my prayer space, close the door behind me and quietly read Scripture. I meditate on written prayers or songs in the song book. I do not close the door to keep the world out, but to intentionally give God the whole of my attention. Unfortunately, most writing and teaching on the subject of prayer has been done by introverts, leading some

Illustrations: © Depositphotos.com/m.ekzarkho

BY LT-COLONEL ANN BRAUND

Salvationist - September 2015  
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