The Enneagram & Prayer

A simple guide to the Enneagram and Prayer by Val Marie Paper | Valerie Woerner, personality types, spiritual growth, faith, Christian, Bible, studyWe know when it comes to our desire to pray more, what holds us back may be completely different based on personality types. We thought it would be fun to share some customized encouragement based on the strengths and areas of growth for each Enneagram type that Kara, our Social Manager, put together.

Now, these aren’t hard and fast rules. Our prayer lives are way more personal and there are likely hundreds of things that could hold us back in prayer. But we thought this might be a unique approach to help you clear the obstacles that might keep you from the prayer life you desire with the Lord.

For each number, we shared some of the natural strengths and positive traits that may already describe your prayer life. Opportunities for growth are areas that each personality type may struggle with but can develop. The action steps are a combination of suggestions based on things you’d naturally like to do as well as exercises that would stretch you and help develop your areas of potential growth.

Want more really in-depth and practical guidance on prayer? We created a prayer course to specifically help you pray more consistently and more confidently. Check it out here!

ONE

Natural Strengths:

  • Intrinsically motivated and self-disciplined
  • Loves routine and structure
  • Values honesty and being morally right

Opportunities for Growth:

  • Accepting (and giving) forgiveness
  • Taking breaks from tasks and embracing quiet
  • Putting aside the fear that you’re not praying “correctly”

Action Steps:

2020 Yearly Prayer Journal 

FIND FOCUS. ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS. EXPERIENCE GOD.

No more waiting! It's in the shop now!

1. Walk and pray. Break the mold of what the “right” way is to spend time with God (AKA an hour-long prayer and Bible study time each morning) and experience God in a new way, like in nature as you listen to a Psalm about creation on your earbuds.
2. Practice silence and solitude. Have times where you simply “be” and don’t feel bad about it. This post on Silence & Solitude might be helpful.
3. Create a prayer routine. Cater to your love for routine by theming your prayer times (Monday – pray for others, Tuesday – self, etc. like our friend Ashlyn demonstrated) and put it in your planner if needed 😉 )

TWO

Natural Strengths:

  • Quick to tend to and make things right in their relationship with the Lord
  • Naturally caring with a heart to pray for others
  • Can read between the lines of what someone needs

Opportunities for Growth:

  • Looking to God instead of people for love and acceptance
  • Remembering that God doesn’t “need” anything from you and you can just “be”
  • Knowing that God can handle your emotions

Action Steps:

1. Take time away from your normal places and people. It’s difficult for two’s to focus when their people are around–even when they’re in the other room. Schedule an hour at a coffee shop or park every once in a while when you know it’s not gonna be busy.
2. Pray for yourself. If that feels funny, start by asking God questions like, “Lord, what do you want to grow in me? My family? My ministry?”
3. Run your motives in what you’re praying for others through this test: Are you praying out of submission to the Lord’s will or pride in thinking your solution for your friend / family member is best?

THREE

Strengths:

  • The ability to pray with focus and purpose
  • Confident coming before the Lord
  • Doesn’t just talk about praying, but takes action

Opportunities for Growth:

  • Not getting discouraged by unanswered prayers. (Our prayer course dives into the reasons why prayers  go “unanswered”.)
  • Verbalizing feelings and opening up completely with God
  • Approaching prayer out of relationship and not duty
  • Learning to embrace slow, quiet and seemingly “unproductive” times

Action Steps:

1. Incorporate graceful movement like walking or stretching to give your body something to “do” so your mind can focus on prayer.
2. Try our House Prayers worksheet and redeem the time spent tidying as you pray over your home.
3. Consider leading others in prayer by starting a prayer group. Make sure to give them space to express their own hearts to God.

FOUR

Natural Strengths:

  • In touch with their feelings and inner life
  • Aware of individual struggles and recognition of a deep need for rescue
  • Doesn’t hold back from God, even the heavy emotions

Opportunities for Growth:

  • Praying for others instead of being purely introspective
  • Believing that God will never leave you and that you are not “too much”
  • Praying even if the “feelings” or desire isn’t there

Action Steps:

1. Use the Conversations Section in your Yearly Prayer Journal or another notebook for journaling messy prayers.
2. Listen to this awesome sermon series by Craig Groeschel on the mind.
3. Commit to a routine so that you’re not praying only when you feel like it.

FIVE

Natural Strengths:

  • Loves time alone
  • Good listeners and observers
  • Can go deep easily

Opportunities for Growth:

  • Turning to prayer first before processing things yourself
  • Knowing that your feelings are important to God and not just the facts
  • Not getting bogged down in semantics

Action Steps:

1. Pray with your eyes open or do something physical while you pray like walking or stretching to keep you grounded in this world instead of being consumed with your inner life.
2. Set a timer for 15 minutes and write your prayer. Let your thoughts flow freely and unhindered.
3. Pray honestly with others. Embrace community and express real things in prayer times with others instead of prettying up your requests to protect your privacy.

SIX

Natural Strengths:

  • Thrives on order and routine
  • Has great potential to build a deep and trusting relationship with God
  • Doesn’t have to wonder, “What should I pray for?”

Opportunities for Growth:

  • Wrestling with your doubts in an effort to build deep trust in God
  • Learning to surrender fully to God as “worst case scenarios” invade your thoughts
  • Turning to the Lord before others when in need of assurance

Action Steps:

1. Spend time meditating on Acts 17:28 and practice “breath prayer” especially in times of anxiety.
2. Practice delarative prayer. Say, “Lord, you are _____” or “Lord, you say I am _____”. Also, pray over others who need to hear God’s truth declared over them.
3. Try our prayer journals. The prompts keep you focused on the conversation instead of overanalyzing.A simple guide to the Enneagram and Prayer by Val Marie Paper | Valerie Woerner, personality types, spiritual growth, faith, Christian, Bible, study

SEVEN

Natural Strengths:

  • Ready for adventure
  • Optimistic and energetic
  • Open to prayer outside of their normal routine

Opportunities for Growth:

  • Committing fully and completely to the discipline of prayer
  • Being open to heavy conversations and confrontation
  • Praying persistently for things that don’t get an immediate answer

Action Steps:

1. Change things up by praying with different postures (we go over this in our prayer course!)
2. Have something that’s the same every time you pray like a scent, music (bonus points if you’re the one making it), or something you hold that alerts your mind that it’s time for deeper focus.
3. Start a prayer group and enjoy prayer in the presence of other believers. (Tips to start a prayer group in the course too! 😉 )

EIGHT

Natural Strengths:

  • Willing to honestly confront issues
  • A potential prayer activist whose ready to seek justice on behalf of others
  • A natural intensity that could fan the flame of a passionate prayer life

Opportunities for Growth:

  • Accept leaving things “undone” and placing them in God’s hands
  • Take time to pray before making quick reactions and decisions
  • Submit to God’s authority instead of clinging to your own

Action Steps:

1. Step into nature to gain perspective on the vast size, power, and sovereignty of the Creator.
2. Force yourself to slow down and process your thoughts with God by journaling (our Prayer Memoirs would be especially helpful!)
3. Visualize taking every thought captive and presenting it to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5) and then do it!

NINE

Natural Strengths:

  • Finds comfort in routine
  • Has a lot of potential for depth once they get started
  • Can find joy in being alone

Opportunities for Growth:

  • Getting started and praying consistently
  • Being willing to have tough conversations with God
  • Knowing that God longs to hear what is on your heart

Action Steps:

1. Start an easy-to-stick-with prayer routine. Our prayer journals’ main job is to help you find the focus that can be so elusive.
2. Do something creative with your hands while praying like painting, sewing, building, etc. in order to develop focus and create the time to express deep emotions.
3. Read a book on prayer to give you the motivation you to dive deeper. Here are my favorites!

Resources used in putting together this blog post:

  • The Type Descriptions from The Enneagram Institute – If you’re not sure what your Enneagram type is, one of the best ways to find out is to read up on the 9 types here.
  • The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile – If you’re ready to dive deeper into the 9 types, this is your book!
  • Using the Enneagram in Prayer by Suzanne Zuercher – Read with discernment!! Although we found parts of this book helpful, we can not recommend it as a whole.

Leave a Comment!!

  • I recently discovered the enneagram. It has been so helpful in understanding the way I am, as well as gaining momentum in becoming the best version of the person God created me to be.