How Your Personality Affects the Way You Pray
Why do so many struggle to pray? Dr. Pablo Martinez, a medical doctor and psychotherapist, suggests that our basic personality type strongly affects both how we pray and what we pray about. Extroverts may struggle to develop a regular prayer life; introverts will be more likely to set time apart. Thinking types find prayer more satisfactory if accompanied by pen and paper; feeling types may long for intimacy with God; intuitive types tend to be innovators and visionaries, and may have a more mystical bent; sensation types often have a particular capacity for spontaneous prayer; and so on.
The purpose of this book is to help us understand, and work with, our own spiritual path.
Download an Excerpt Here.
“Profoundly simple, this book helped me understand myself and others, but, more importantly, helped me to pray.” — Hugh Palmer, Rector of All Souls, Langham Place, London
“Profound, practical and personal… I cannot imagine any reader failing to be helped by it, as I have been myself.” — Dr. John Stott, in his foreward
“Will Help you understand yourself more, and help you develop an intimate and powerful prayer life.” — Wendy Beech-Ward, Director of Spring Harvest
“Encouraging and enlightening… I highly commend this short buy influential work.” –Professor Andrew Sims, former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
“Wonderfully motivating. I warmly comment it.” –Jonathan Lamb, director, Langham Preaching, and Chairman, Keswick Ministries
“Thoughtful, helpful and encouraging… it will prove invaluable.” — Michael Ramsden, European Director RZIM Zacharias Trust
Dr. Pablo Martinez, a medical doctor and psychiatrist, has written Praying With The Grain, and it is phenomenal! I’ve not known a psychiatrist who explains so distinctly how your personality/temperament and your childhood background affect your prayer life.
Dr. Pablo’s section on the psychology of prayer is so enlightening in regards to the different temperaments and how each determines the way you pray. There are eight categories along the continuum of the thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuitive axis and Dr. Pablo helps us to understand how they interact with being an introvert or extrovert. (This is diagrammed in the book.) I found this very helpful to know and to discover more about myself.
Different Prayers for Different People: Dr. Pablo takes each psychological function and delineates the differences of the four different approaches and helps understanding each group’s approach towards prayer. His purpose is for you to identify where you function and how to grow deeper in prayer. It was an eye-opening experience to see myself in the different groups. It encouraged me to work through my method and to grow in the areas where I am weak.
Overcoming Difficulties: Difficulties in praying are the result of our biography/past memories—those things that we have done in our lives or what has been done to us. Our biography/past memories are ‘married’ to another part of our personality–our unconscious. They are meshed together to make you you! Because of emotional problems, difficulties may arise when we try to pray through the course and content of prayer.
The therapeutic value of prayer: This is the portion where Dr. Pablo explains the value of prayer–for God and for you. It’s a two-way street. Some of the values include an intimate relationship with God, yourself and others. It liberates us when we confess our sins and express our heart’s anguish. Prayer gives us light, guidance and discernment in all the areas of our lives we are willing to receive direction. Prayer is also a means of transformation—bringing our lives into alignment with God’s Word, transforming our minds so our actions follow God’s Word. Dr. Pablo ever so gently invites you to enter this wonderful world of prayer.
He ends the book with a section of questions and answers, a secular psychiatrist’s viewpoints on prayer, and the differences of Christian prayer and Eastern meditation. These sections are helpful to discern how a psychiatrist may discard your faith, answer questions you have, and to differentiate the different methods of meditation, some of which are not Biblical.
This book was very helpful to me to understand God, myself and others. To me, this is a ‘must have’ book to help those who struggle with prayer—which basically includes everyone.
This book was provided by Cat Hoort of Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was exchanged.