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Blog Post #1: Prayer Temperament

Personality Profiles | Prayer Temperaments | Enneagram

Thursday, August 29, 2019 by Carol Kurivial 

Roller coasters are exhilarating, but I’ll be honest, they’re no longer my main attraction at Cedar Point. What fascinates me even more these days when I enter an amusement park is people watching. Not so much hairstyles and clothing choices (although that can be interesting as well), but more so, all the many and varied personalities. We’re all just so different! And those differences even seep into our prayer styles.


A while back, Ascension Press put out a fun quiz with the purpose of helping people find their prayer temperament. According to the post, there are four “prayer temperaments” ~ Franciscan, Ignatian, Augustinian, and Thomistic. Being a personality profile junkie, I jumped right in, answered a dozen or so questions, and received my temperament. Before taking the test I had already predicted that I was Ignatian in nature, and sure enough, I was…which had me curious about the other three options.


So just for fun, I took the test again, pretending to be someone else. I chose a more free-spirited, spontaneous, and adventuresome spirit type because I like those qualities as well. You guessed it! From my new “live-in-the-moment” stance, I was labeled as having a Franciscan prayer temperament. That felt really freeing and I pondered what my prayer life would be like if I had more of a Franciscan temperament in “real” life.


Did I mention that the test included a synopsis of your “type” as well as a free video designed to take you deeper into your temperament, including tips to improve your prayer life? Good stuff and, again, fascinating. Check it out for yourself at ascensionpress.com/pages/prayer-temperament-quiz .


All of this got me thinking about personality types in general. As I already mentioned, I’m into this stuff and have spent a fair amount of time, especially over the past six months, studying the Enneagram, the Myers-Briggs, and even “The Two Sides of Love” Personality Profile. I know my number (Enneagram), my letter combination (Myers-Briggs), and my animal (The Two Sides of Love), and I’ll be honest, I think they all bring something to the table, because, in my opinion, they all provide different types of information that can be useful to life, living, healthy relationships, and growing closer to Christ.


I’m no psychologist, (although I birthed one!) and have no idea how the various folks figured all this personality stuff out. But I’m amazed at how accurate the test results are and how much I’m learning about myself. At the end of the day, I’m glad I’m a profile junkie, because it helps me to understand why I think the way I do, why I respond to life the way I do, and even why I pray the way I do.


Taking these profiles is opening my mind and it’s helping me to better understand myself and others. It’s even helping me to get a grip on why I have trouble sleeping and what I can do about it. I like the idea that all this information is helping me to discern how I’m responding to life and how that all aligns with God’s will. Yes, He made me the way I am and loves me the way I am, but I have to believe He’s always pulling for me to grow and improve and make progress on my sacred journey. As Scott Hahn shares in A Father Who Keeps His Promises, “…God loves us just as we are, but he loves us too much to leave us that way.”


And now for the best part! (Don’t we always leave the best for last!) All of this investigation into prayer styles and personality profiles is keeping me more focused on Christ and how He desires me to use the very unique qualities and traits and instincts He blessed me with to communicate with Him and to further His Kingdom! And for me, that equates to feeling more and more intimate with my Creator. In my book, that’s better than any roller coaster I’ve ever ridden! (And that includes the Millennium Force coaster, which, I did, in fact, love!)

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