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Styles of Praying

I’ve been wondering if the various contributors to this conversation will have different prefered styles of praying.  A couple analogies come to mind from other aspects of my life. They are: personality profiles like Myers-Briggs and some things I’ve observed about my fellow musicians.

In the Myers-Briggs model I am an INFP. It means my prefered style of interacting is introversion, intuition, feeling, perception. Somehow I got through engineering school where most people are ISTJ; introversion, sensing, thinking, judgment. (I have discovered reference material about the link between personality style and prayer style and will explore this more.) My prayer style is very impromptu and lacks structure. That’s sort of who I am (just ask my wife). I seem to make it up on the go. It’s similar to how I practise guitar. Unless I’m learning a particular song, I prefer to practise with no music. I practise scales and noodle and just make stuff up. Other musicians I’ve known who are really talented, play beautifully until you remove the music from in front of them. Then they stop immediately. We’re different.

I respect that others may like more structure and direction in their prayer life. There is no judgement here (no Myers Briggs pun intended). We are all made wondrously different. So for me the bottom line is to respect the different preferences of the contributors to these conversations. When I contribute to this blog it will often be coming from my place of what I’ve experienced in unstructured prayer. I will strive to add references to resources that enable other preferences. I would appreciate help from all of you to share those that you are aware of.

What is your prefered praying style? Do you like structure and direction or are you unstructured like me or somewhere in the middle?

(image from Richard N. Stephenson)

Mark Perrin

About Mark Perrin

I’m a member of St Martin’s Anglican in Calgary and a director of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer. I’m an engineer by training and consult in the oil patch doing engineering, IT and finance work. I am married and have three children. At church I’m an intercessor and participate in our healing prayer ministry. My spiritual life includes Christianity, the healing arts of Qi Gong, Reiki and Shamanism, and a curiosity about how creation works. In my spare time I occasionally post to this site, play with motorcycles, guitars, computers and model trains.
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