Prayer and Temperament

Prayer and Temperament

Meyers-Briggs Personality Types 2

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types or personality preferences in four areas.

1     How you get your energy, where do you focus your attention? Introvert (I) vs extrovert (E). Do you get your energy from inside or outside of yourself?

2     How do you get your information?  Sensing (S) or intuition (N). Do you gather concrete data or do you think of possibilities?

3     How do you make your decision? Thinking (T) or feeling (F). Do you make decisions on what is logical or on relationships and what is of value?

4     How do you deal with the world? Judging (J) or Perceiving (P). Do you deal with the world in a planned organized way or are you more flexible, spontaneous, keeping options open? When there is a problem, do you look for closure or do you keep gathering in data?

Please Understand Me, Character and Temperament Types, David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates

prayer and temperament.jpg

Yesterday we talked about how knowing the Meyer-Briggs personality types can be helpful in living life on life’s terms. The classic book, Prayer and Temperament, tells us how the Myers-Briggs test is helpful in our spiritual life, especially in deciding on a way to pray.  Lectio Divina or Benedictine Prayer is suitable for all personality types.

Augustine Prayer especially emphasizes feeling and intuition so may be best for the NF temperament.

The basic temperament of SP may best respond to Franciscan or prayer used by St. Francis. 

Those with a temperament in search of truth and competency and learning (NT) may best pray using the Thomastic or Dominican Spirituality of Thomas Aquinas.

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius are most easily understood by the SJ temperament, but NT and NF temperaments also may find it a rewarding form of prayer.

 Ignatian prayer projects us into a scene while Augustinian Prayer transposes the words of the Bible so that the Bible is speaking directly to us.

Those practicing Franciscan Prayer (SP) must be free and able to go wherever the Spirit moves them. Their prayer leads to action and their action is prayer. They cannot tolerate long periods of silence.

Those who would best practice Thomastic Prayer (NT) are logical and orderly and thirst for truth and address prayer like a scientific project or mystery.

Prayer and Temperament, Different Prayer Forms for Different Personality Types by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey.