Saturday, June 6, 2015


If you've taken the Spiritual Types Test, you'll know that our personalities and our spiritual characteristics mean that we encounter the world, relationships, and spirituality in different ways. The following exercises will let you experience prayer in the way of the four spiritual types -- Sage, Lover, Mystic, and Prophet. Do these four excercises, then do the final exercise, praying in your very own, unique way.

Try Praying in Five Different Ways:



When we look at Jesus as presented in the Gospels, we find that at various times in his life Jesus reflected different styles of prayer. He certainly emptied himself of everything in order to make his will one with God's will. He also saw God's presence in everyone and in everything: the children, the lilies of the field, the generosity of the poor widow, the faith of the centurion. Jesus knew the scriptures and used them to outline for his followers the radical demands of discipleship. But Jesus also wept when Lazarus died and was deeply moved over the city of Jerusalem. Jesus prayed alone, away from the disciples, and also encouraged them to pray with him. To be one with his Father was the deepest joy of Jesus' heart, and he desired this oneness for us all "that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us" (John 17:21).

As Christians, we believe that "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Cor. 3:17). Jesus lived fully in such freedom. Each Gospel writer describes Jesus in a unique manner and helps us to see how Jesus revealed the various dimensions of God. By providing such a rich variety of images of God, the New Testament invites us to enter the mystery of the God who eludes all definition and yet has chosen to walk with us as a fellow pilgrim.

The gift given by Jesus after the resurrection is shalom: peace, harmony, unity, integrity within God's own being (John 20:19). Unity means not uniformity but oneness in the midst of diversity. There is diversity in the Trinity. There is diversity in Jesus. There is diversity in the Gospel writers. There were diverse languages at Pentecost, and yet the gift of the Spirit was unity in the diversity. "Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many" (1 Cor. 12:14). There are different prayer styles, various ways to become present to God's presence in our lives. The challenge is to understand one's individual style better and, in doing so, become free to appreciate and respect other approaches.