These unscientific profiles may help you find the most rewarding way to pray.
Many people have made attempts to classify the human personality, to make it easy and memorable to understand and categorize personal preferences and proclivities. The most famous system is probably Myers-Briggs, which measures introversion vs. extraversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling and judging vs. perceiving. Other personality tests or tools classify a personality by color (orange, blue, etc.) or even animal (otter, lion, etc.).
Understanding personality types may also help to explain why you pray the way you do. Or don’t. Or find it easier and more rewarding to pray in certain ways.
I’m no psychologist, but I do think a person who understands and functions according to his or her prayer personality type will be a happier and better praying person. See if my purely unscientific profiles below strike a chord:
1) The Hannah
Do you often pray silently, even when you’re alone? In a passion of prayer, do your lips move but no words come forth? Would an observer perhaps think you’re a little odd—or even drunk (as did the high priest Eli as he watched Hannah pray)? Then you might be a Hannah (see 1 Samuel 1).
2) The Elijah
Do you cry out to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in times of trial and testing? Do you pray boldly? Loudly? In great faith and expectation that God will glorify Himself? Do you sometimes pray so long and hard that you’re depleted afterward? You might be an Elijah (see 1 Kings 18, 19).
3) The David
Have you ever sung your prayers? Written them? Danced them? Does your praying and worshiping sometimes embarrass your family? If so, you might be a David (see 2 Samuel 6, Psalm 23, Psalm 51).
4) The Daniel
Do you pray at the same time every day? Or in the same place or position? Do you cultivate a healthy prayer routine? Do you find that rituals tend to enhance your prayer life? Do you tend to stick to your prayer pattern even when it’s difficult? Then you might be a Daniel (see Daniel).
5) The Paul
Do you like to intercede for others, maybe praying more for others than you do for yourself? Do you pray from a long list? Do you even keep track of how God has answered your prayers and find your faith growing as a result? You’re probably a Paul (see Ephesians 3:14-21, Colossians 1:9-14).
These five “prayer personalities” certainly don’t exhaust the possibilities (after all, we all aspire to pray like Jesus, first and foremost, right?). But recognizing and praying according to the way God created you and relates to you, is healthy and holy.