Praying with the Grain: How your personality affects the way you Pray
Pablo Martinex is a well known and well published author and psychiatrist. He spoke at our 2010 conference on another book of his: book, talk.
In this book, he looks with a psychiatrists eye at some of the words often used in this area: personality, temperment, Jungina ideas such as extrovertion and introvertion, etc. For each 'type' of person, their prayer life is unpacked with biblical examples, an overview of the strengths and weaknesses as well as ideas on how to challenge any areas of difficulty. The goals are to see a richly praying church in many ways, as well as that we might all be more like Jesus, who was actually Jung's original model for personality.
The book was first published some years ago under the title 'Prayer Life', but there is new material giving an apologetic for prayer [since some say it is just an ilusion] and a helpful question and answer section.
Personally, I have run some seminars on prayer based on the earlier version of this book, and found it to be very helpful to people - that we do not all pray alike and that these differences can so easily be interpreted as weaknesses by others if not correctly understood.
After the seminar people were much more open to different types of prayer and even began to experiment themselves. This led me to go to a Scottish cottage for a week - something not familiar to my extrovert personality but a place where I learnt much about God!
From the back cover of the book:
Review: 'A profound, practical and personal book in which the skill of the psychiatrist and the gentleness of the pastor are combined ...I cannot imagine any reader failing to be helped by it, as I have been myself.' - --John Stott
Product Description: Why do so many struggle to pray? Dr Pablo Martinez, a medical doctor and psychotherapist, suggests that our basic personality type strongly affects 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.
Pablo Martinez, 01/01/2012