My wife sent me some videos the other day by Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. It produced some interested thoughts the practicality of our walk with God. Most of you would define yourself as an introvert or extrovert, but we are really somewhere on a spectrum. Wherever you are on that spectrum these next four things can help you enjoy your prayer life.
1. If you are an introvert embrace your enjoyment of time alone with God.
Some people would be surprised to realize that I am more on the introvert side of the spectrum (since I speak around the country and world). But I cherish that time alone just me and God. If you also enjoy your alone time, don’t be afraid to invite Jesus into that time. This is not taking away from your alone time since God is with you anyways. Inviting Him into that sacred place will make the time richer and more enjoyable.
2. If you are an extrovert don’t use that as an excuse to never get alone.
I don’t know where Susan Cain is on her faith journey, but she said something every Christian needs to realize: “Without the wilderness there is no revelation.” She even made reference to the fact that Moses and Jesus went away into the wilderness before engaging in the crowd. If you identify yourself as an extrovert this does not mean you don’t need times alone with God. Our personality does not excuse us from our calling to obedience. In the story of the Good Samaritan he couldn’t say, “I won’t engage that person on the side of the road that is hurting because I am an introvert.”
3. Learn to live with your personality in the prayer meeting.
A great place to see the clash of introverts and extroverts is the prayer meeting. This is especially true when praying together in groups. I have been in prayer meetings when introverts will even come late if they believe there is group prayer near the beginning. Let me encourage my introvert friends to commit to engaging at those times even when it is uncomfortable. Your prayer, even if short, can be crucial to that prayer time. For the extrovert, don’t miss the prayer meeting! As you learn to enjoy the prayer meeting not only will you bring a life and relationship component to the meeting it will bring comfort and confidence to you when you set time to be alone with God.
4. Learn to bring who you are to your time with God.
As you are building your time with God I encourage people to start somewhere. As an extrovert you may want to start focusing on finding a prayer partner. As an introvert you may want to start with stealing moments of quiet with God which will energize you anyway. I wrote a post about emotion and prayer which could be important to check out as you think about this subject, but if you start with your strengths it may help you as you grow in your prayer life.
Whatever your personality engage with God because He loves you and made you and wants to spend time with you!