For most of my childhood, I was painfully shy.
So shy, in fact, that my parents had to make me a star chart and I was rewarded for speaking to adults because otherwise I would just ignore them, not out of rudeness but out of sheer anxiety of speaking.
Fast forward a few years and the thought of me being this painfully shy person is almost laughable. Ask any of my friends and they would almost not recognize the story above. I love to talk, I love to laugh and I’m happy to strike up conversation with almost anyone.
So what led me to thinking about whether introverts make better pray-ers?
Well, because The Quiet Time is something that in the traditions of the church that I have grown up in is seen as almost the bread and butter of a relationship with God. And having now become a naturally extroverted person, I’ve found the concept of a sacred quiet time personally challenging.
Because I want to be noisy, expressive, animated…and in truth…I’m an external processor, I found that the only way I could really express myself to God in the silence was by writing. I struggled to spend long amounts of time on my own, even if I felt the presence of God really strongly.
I sometimes think that I’m part Labrador puppy that is just desperate to play and can’t sit still!
I’ve spent a lot of time wondering recently whether introverts make better pray-ers, or even just better Christians in general, because of that depth of relationship they can find with God on their own.
But then God challenged me on this.
First, he put a spiritual companion in my life that really encouraged me to press into His presence, not to rush on in my silent time with Him. It took discipline, but the more I allowed Him the space, the more of His presence I felt and the deeper sense of peace I knew.
Secondly, He put people in my life to journey with in learning the spiritual discipline of quiet, silence, and reflection.
I was recently part of a monastic community and prayer was a huge part of that year.
Since that season came to an end a few months ago, I decided to get more connected with the prayer at my local church, and I’ve just started a new prayer group focusing on more contemplative and reflective forms of prayer. To be honest, I need the accountability of others around me to stay motivated.
My co-leader is the polar opposite of me in terms of energy, she is an extreme introvert that finds her quiet time of prayer a place of depth and peace. There’s a huge amount that I can learn from her, but I know that my spiritual gifting is organizing and bringing people together (because I like to know all the people!).
So I’ve concluded for now that introverts don’t necessarily make better pray-ers, there is a place in the family of God for all personality types, including extroverts like me.
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
LAURA COLLINGRIDGE is a London-born lover of life, love and all that’s above! By day, she is training to be a pastor in England and by night she cooks a mean chicken tray bake and can often be found plotting her next trip abroad. She spent a year in a monastic community and is trying to work out what lessons she can bring to everyday life beyond the monastery walls. To learn more about the Monastic Community that Laura experienced, CLICK HERE
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I agree with your conclusion! Prayer is always about the heart and relationship we have with God the Father. An introvert has to overcome challenges of sinfulness just as much as anyone else. Deny yourself and take up your cross may mean one thing to the extremely shy person, to the extremely aggressive, to the extremely talkative…We all need the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to burn our tongues and set us on fire. We then can transform the world!