Welcome back to the Heart of the Matter Radio/ podcast! On today’s episode, we have a special guest, Janet McHenry, joining us to dive into the intriguing topic of prayer personalities. 

Janet introduces us to four dominant praying personalities that she has discovered through her research. These are the Problem Solver, the Friend of God, the Organized Prayer, and the Peace Seeker. Each personality has unique characteristics and approaches to prayer.

Listen here

Cynthia:

We’ve been talking about prayer and praying personalities. Janet McHenry was with us and I’d like to know what some of the personalities are. Can you give us a thumbnail sketch? How can we figure out what we are?

 

Janet:

Well, the biblical praying styles that I saw were more cerebral or emotive or devotional or physical. If you take the Praying Personalities quiz, it leads them to one of four different personalities. Those are called the problem solver, the Friend of God, the organized prayer, and the Peace Seeker. Some of those words might just automatically sort of resonate with you, like the Problem Solver, where our focus is to solve problems, to dig in, to get things done. We’re task-oriented. I’m a problem solver praying person.

 

I walk and I pray for my community. I love the idea of multitasking, but you could also get on your treadmill and you use that half hour to pray through the mental lists that are kind of weighing you down. I also use reminders like little sticky notes. I have several in my planner that I turn to. As I look at my day, those sticky notes are there, and they remind me to pray for those family members or friends of mine. They also might try to think of ways to kind of organize or categorize their prayers. Perhaps a notebook with systematic kinds of pieces there would work for them.

 

Cynthia:

How do you pray for family members? When you’re out walking?

 

Janet:

I do that in the quiet space of my little cozy chair, as I like to refer to it here in my office. When I’m prayer walking, I’m praying on site with insight. I’m praying for the people in the homes I pass. I pray for the business owners as I go by their businesses. I pray for the teachers in the schools. As I walk around the schools, there’s walking and praying. You can go on the streets with your various concerns that you have, your family, your job, your ministry, things, anything that’s kind of weighing you down. But prayer walking is intercessory-oriented.

Cynthia:

Okay, that makes sense. You talked about now the organized prayer. Did you mention now what was the other one, the passionate prayer?

Janet:

The Friend of God is someone who has a bubbly personality. And so they need my people around. My daughter is someone like that. She has six kids. So the ideal for her when she’s hauling kids to music practice an hour away or to games, she asks each child to pray.

It becomes a family-oriented event, and prayer becomes fun. They also love worship music and dancing. They put the music on when they’re cooking. If they have a heavy concern of theirs, they probably phone a friend. They probably wouldn’t go to their quiet prayer closet. They’d phone a friend and say, hey, this came up. Will you pray for me right now?

It’s a social because what they strive for is fun. They want life to be fun. So lots of people around them. And you can do that with prayer. Turn to your family, or maybe you have some friends that you can turn to Sunday after church. Maybe start a little group together, find a little corner to get together with.

Cynthia:

Okay, so those are two types. What’s the third type?

Janet:

The third one is the organized prayer. And so that person is more introspective, melancholy, and perfectionistic. They indeed like finite kinds of organized systems. They might write out their prayers in a journal. They might create lists or systems to be able to put all those pieces together.

They might also find that because they’re very introverted, a literal prayer closet or just a cozy, know, a place away from the world. Or like Susanna Wesley, she had to pull her apron over her head because all her kids, she couldn’t get away and be with God. I look at Jesus as a prayer mentor, and he had a full personality, so he could go into the crowds, and he could meet the needs of the people there. We do have ten of his prayers, so we know he prayed in public, but he also had to get up the mountain. Well, this organized prayer, I also call this person the Lamenter needs to go up the mountain. They need to go up the mountain, find that quiet place, and just get with God all by themselves.

Cynthia:

That may be what I am, because I like to pray by myself if I can. I even pray out loud, because it keeps me from losing my place.

Janet:

Maybe. And then the last one is the peace seeker. This person seeks peace. They are calm and collected. They’re kind of slow to respond, so they need promptings of some kind. If they have prayer apps on their phone that could help them to kind of jump-start prayers. If they have books of prayers or devotional kinds of books that could get those prayers started. Maybe they begin just thinking, “I have my coffee, so this is my prayer time.”

Something that will initiate or prompt them into prayer time will work for them.

Cynthia:

What about those people when you go to prayer meetings and they pray and pray and pray. I can’t do that. What do you think of that?

Janet:

I am involved with a couple of national intercessory movements, the National Day of Prayer. We get together every Saturday morning and pray for at least an hour together here in California and then pray. And there are some of those people, and they’re probably that friend of God person who just loves. They can go on and on. They have that relationship with God in such a way that they see Him as their friend. I understand them.

I am more succinct. I’m a problem solver. When someone asks me to pray, it’s the journalist in me that comes out. I focus on who, what, when, where, and then I’m done. And I do try to bring scripture into it as well, because I believe that if we’re praying according to God’s word, then it will be okay.

Cynthia:

There is a test that you can take in your book that helps people to decide which one they are.

 

Janet:

Right. The Praying Personalities quiz. That is available. And it will be a test you can take online. You can find that at https://praying personalities.com

Maybe we have one higher score, and then there’s another score that’s kind of close, at least the next highest, and we might have some of those different traits as well.

Cynthia:

All right, anything else you want to add?

Janet:

No, I think that I always want to encourage people to think of prayer less as a quest for answers but more as a quest for access. We can have a conversation with the living God, the one who created us. He initiated this conversation, and it’s just a matter of tuning in and stepping into it.

 

Cynthia:

Janet has that link online now so that you can find out what your prayer personality is, and it’s called prayingpersonalities.com. You can go there, take a prayer personality and find out what your prayer personality is, and you can find Janet at janetmchenry.com. Her book is already on Amazon, christianbook.com and Barnes and Noble. And I think this is great because I’ve always felt uncomfortable about the way I pray differently than other people. But that’s okay. God wants us to pray because he wants a relationship with us. It’s great to have Janet with me. I love this conversation.

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