Pablo Martinez writes about how personality affects the way people pray in Praying with the grain. He hopes by helping people understand their personalities this will aid them in their prayers.

Martinez introduces his book by examining different personality types and then discusses how this impacts the way they prays. This section was quite interesting as he writes how personality might affect the desire to pray, the frequency of prayer and the length of prayer. There are some insightful moments in this rather lengthy section but his suggestions for overcoming difficulties are limited and not always practical (eg praying with a friend). Martinez seems to have quite a rigid view of prayer and doesn’t seem to consider suggesting other styles of prayer that might be better suited to some personalities. The topic also lends itself to helping people of different personalities to pray together but this was not mentioned at all. In the second half of the book Martinez gets unnecessarily complicated as he explains his apologetics of prayer.

Overall I must admit to being disappointed with this book that had such promise but often failed to deliver. It seems that Martinez’s main concern was helping people understand their personality type and then, apart from a few brief practical suggestions, leaves it to the reader to work out their own application.

The book was originally published in 2001, and the revised edition, which I read was published this year, so it would seem other readers have found it more helpful than I did.