Spiritual Gifts and Graces – Understanding your personality and its impact on your prayer life

I came across this list recently and was mightily impressed about how our personality determines our response in prayer, and greatly challenged by the need to spend more time co-operating with myself in prayer.


Use the Myers-Briggs test results to find your prayer type.

Sensing Types


Like to spend time alone with God Like to pray alone

May like structured prayer Enjoy silent prayer

May find prayer groups less to their taste

Need to spend longer in prayer than other types

Prayer journal helpful – records progression & brings order to spiritual life

Find prayer books and prayers of others helpful

Need substantial time alone with God each day

Spontaneous praying through the day feeds spiritual hunger

Need to work at:

Non-verbal prayer (Romans 8:26-27)

Developing art of listening to God through Bible – projecting self back into scenes from Bible

Spending at least 30-60 minutes praying per day

Spontaneous prayer




Prefer action over prayer, so pray whilst working etc. Enjoy spontaneous praise & worship in group

Will find silence helpful

See God in art, creativity & nature

Will need simple structures & self discipline to profit from prayer

Will need assurances of God’s personal love for them

Like using imagination & spontaneity to pray

Experience of Spirit is vivid & real

Will need at least 30 mins prayer daily as thrive on deep thinking

Need flexible forms of prayer & concentration

Need to work at:

Spending at least 30 minutes each day alone with God

Learning to trust God to take care of things

Prayer journal: helps to maintain intimate contact with God



Do not need as much formal prayer as other types

Will find prayer groups helpful & enjoyable

Enjoy spontaneous praying through day, whilst working, driving etc.

Enjoy visual images

May find praying out loud helpful

Enjoy fasting & all-night prayer

Good worshippers: like being led by Spirit in prayer

Experience God in nature

Able to experience presence, love & protection of God

Find praying with others helpful

Need to work at:

Finding to time to pray alone each day

Setting aside at least 30 minutes per day to pray: reading a short passage & reflecting on it – asking what is God saying to me?





Need support of others to maintain prayer life – prayer groups

Love praying in groups – helpful to spiritual growth

Find set prayers helpful Intercessory prayer important

Find it harder than other types to feel God’s presence

Enjoy praising, singing, uninhibited displaying of emotions

Need at least 30 minutes a day praying alone

Alternate between feeling close to and apart form God

Need to work at:

Training themselves to imagine & feel themselves in Gospel scenes

Being quiet & listening to God (tendency to talk all the time)

Keeping open to Spirit’s presence

Learning to talk to God as a friend in prayer

Trying to pray spontaneously

Intuitive types


Strong dislike of formal, repetitive prayer

Need much time of private prayer

Great need for silence

Able to find best form of prayer for own needs

Should tithe waking hours – 10% to prayer, (minimum 1 hour)

Won’t enjoy prayer groups

Conversational prayer is best

Don’t appreciate spontaneous or informal prayer

Symbols & poetic images important

Good at discernment – good counsellors & spiritual directors

Looking at different forms of prayer

Journaling effective

Need to work at:

Avoiding tendency to introspection

Being careful not to treat God as just an object of study

Learning to trust goodness, care & love of God

Developing spiritual imagination



Great desire to pray alone & silently – need 1 hour per day

Prefer to pray alone, in quiet, for long periods

Like structured prayer.

Must set time aside for this each day

Constantly searching for new & better ways to pray

Good at writing prayers

Prayer groups often don’t fulfil prayer needs

Enjoy intellectual meditation & reasoning

Dislike set forms of prayer

Unstructured, conversational journal helpful

Expressing emotions and developing feeling in prayer

Need to work at:

Reading short Bible passages to discern God’s voice

Setting aside time each day to help others


Prayer a necessity for survival – need 1 hour per day

Enjoy new, complex forms of prayer

Will enjoy prayers in Bible

Enjoy novelty & originality

Need to pray alone, but will enjoy help of others

Dislike traditional, standardised ways

Dislike repetitive prayer Best with improvised prayer

Need to work at:

Being quiet & listening to God Growing in structured, disciplined praying

Putting structure into prayer life to prevent it breaking down (but too much structure will inhibit communication with God)

Understanding others’ responses to prayer







Need to pray alone for 1 hour each day – half praying, half listening

Enjoy leading others in prayer

Enjoy spontaneous, conversational prayer

Enjoy worship

Can use many types of prayer

Desire structured prayer life – logical, consistent development

Best reading short passage followed by reflection

Open to receiving insights, especially during sleep

Experience God in prayer

Need to work at:

Praying alone

Trying many different forms of prayer

Quiet contemplation

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