What’s Your Connection Style? 9 Prayer Practices for Each Enneagram Number {Enneagram Series #18}

How do you best connect with your world? The Harmony Triads of the Enneagram show three primary styles: relational, ideally, and practical, according to your Enneagram number.

Discover your unique prayer practice to match your connection style. 

Connection Styles Enneagram

Observe Then Connect

The Enneagram shows we observe the world through three modes (Intelligence Centers)—gut (body), heart, or head.

But how do we connect with what we observe? The Harmony Triads give us these three styles:

  • Idealism (Types 1, 4, 7)
  • Relational (Types 2, 5, 8)
  • Pragmatism (Practicality) (Types 3, 6, 9)

The origin of the Harmony Triads is credited to Dr. David Daniels, a clinical professor of psychiatry and behavior sciences at Stanford Medical School. The information that follows is the interpretation of the Harmony Triads by Christopher Heuertz in The Sacred Enneagram.

The 3 Harmony Triads

The Harmony Triads divide the Enneagram into a set of 3 equilateral triangles.

Harmony Triads Enneagram

Idealists (Types 1, 4, 7)

This group relates through its dreams for a better world. It envisions the world thriving in the best possible way.

  • 1s—Want a perfect world as things ought to be
  • 4s—Want an ideal world in which nothing important is missing
  • 7s—Want a positive world free of suffering 

Relationists (Types 2, 5, 8)

This group relates to the world through connections. It encompasses the flow of three basic moves in all relationships.

  • 2s—Move toward others to take care of them
  • 5s—Move away from others for perspective
  • 8s—Declarative with others to speak out 

Pragmatists (Types 3, 6, 9)

This group relates to the world through what works. It seeks the following practical considerations:

  • 3s—Seek a practical role in the world
  • 6s—Seek a safe existence in the world
  • 9s—Seek a comfortable position in the world

Goal? Transformation

As with everything in the Enneagram, we all do all of these.

But we don’t all do them equally. We have predominant patterns.

The more we understand our patterns of relating to God and each other, the more we can use them to grow. We desire wholeness and complete connectivity—both through our own patterns that come naturally as well as from the best from other patterns.

Learning about ourselves isn’t the end goal; it’s only the means to a goal.

As A.J. Sherrill says in Enneagram & the Way of Jesus,

“Information is good, and application is better, but transformation is best.”

Spiritual Practice #12—Pray Intentionally

To put this into practice, overlay your Intelligence Center prayer posture (solitude, silence, or stillness) with your Harmony Triad prayer intention (rest, consent, or engagement). 

From Series #17, the prayer postures for the Intelligence Centers are:

  • Heart types—use solitude
  • Head types—use silence
  • Gut (Body) types—use stillness

Now add on a prayer intention per your Harmony Triad. These three intentions help us connect more fully with God. Excerpted from Christopher Heuertz’s The Sacred Enneagram:

  • Idealists—1, 4, 7

REST

Rest in God’s love. Receive it as the ultimate source of goodness. Take a break from the frustration of living up to the impossible standards of excellence, originality, or flexibility. Know it is okay to relax.

  • Relationists—2, 5, 8

CONSENT

Consent to God’s love. Actively agree to stop trying to earn it, figure it out, or resist it. Say yes to being present to God. Choose to trust he will be there and will be enough. 

  • Pragmatists—3, 6, 9

ENGAGE

Engage God’s love. Loosen your grasp on trying to maintain admiration, confidence, and harmony. Engage the love God already has for you. Let him silence your fears and bring an inner, grounding peace to break any desires to run away.

9 Unique Prayer Practices

Combining solitude, silence, and stillness with rest, consent, and engagement, gives each number on the Enneagram a specific spiritual practice unique to their number. Again, read more about each in The Sacred Enneagram.

1—Perfectionist
Rest in stillness

2—Helper
Consent to solitude

3—Performer
Engage solitude

4—Individualist
Rest in solitude

5—Investigator
Consent to silence

6—Loyalist
Engage silence

7—Enthusiast
Rest in silence

8—Challenger
Consent to stillness

9—Peacemaker
Engage stillness


Are you more idealistic, practical, or relational? Please share in the comments.

Enneagram for Spiritual Growth

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Previous: Are You a Thinker, Feeler, or Doer? Enneagram Triads & 3 Practices {Series #17}

Next: Is Your Social Style Annoying? 9 Ways We Manipulate Each Other {Series #19} 

17 thoughts on “What’s Your Connection Style? 9 Prayer Practices for Each Enneagram Number {Enneagram Series #18}

  1. blankBev @ Walking Well With God

    Lisa,
    I really found this helpful and full of insight. I need to “consent” to God’s love. I am going to ponder this verb…consent! No earning, striving, or performing needed. I know innately that I like solitude and need it to refresh. Going to spend some time consenting to God’s love in my prayer life today and moving forward. Thanks.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I love the theme of consent too. I looked up the definition: “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.” I definitely want to give God full permission to love as much as he wants! 🙂 And I consent to receive it.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Consent is such a powerful word, I agree with you and Bev, Martha. It feels so restful. God never meant for his ways to be burdensome to us; when they become burdensome, it’s my own fault, not his.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for sharing your concern, Yvonne. I listened to the video from beginning to end. I have to kindly disagree with Mr. Partridge’s assumption that people “fall prey” to the Enneagram because they aren’t deeply rooted in scripture. I know multiple faithful believers very grounded in scripture who have produced fruit in their lives for the Kingdom through the use of the Enneagram.

      I do appreciate the reminder, though, to be watchful to stand firm in the faith. We must keep holding on to Jesus and his truths.

      I personally find the Enneagram to be just another tool among many that can help us discover how we relate to others and to God, similar to other personality profiles like Myers-Briggs or 5 Love Languages. None of them can ever replace the gospel; nothing can match the priceless grace of Jesus!

  2. blankLois Flowers

    Lisa, I’m still not sure what number fits me best, but I do know I’m a thinker (from your last post) and probably a pragmatist (based on this one). And I am especially intrigued by your title for your next post! At some point, I need to sit down and take notes as I read through your whole series. That would probably give me a much better idea of how this all comes together (at least for me). I’m not sure how you can keep it all straight, but you’re doing a wonderful job explaining it all!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      It’s best that you are keeping an open mind about your number, Lois. Sometimes we jump too quickly to type ourselves and get it wrong and then have to start all over at some point. There is a LOT of information out there, some of it makes sense to me and some doesn’t. 🙂 Even now, when I’m fairly certain I’m a 5w4, there are still things that don’t fit me in some of these triads and I question if I’ve typed myself correctly. Oh well. I have to trust God knew what he was doing when he made me the way I am.

      *Maybe* when this month is over, I’d like to create a single-sheet PDF to list all the groupings because it does get to be overwhelming. The more I share, the more I discover there is to share! lol.

  3. blankTrudy

    Lisa, I have to confess that sometimes I feel a bit discombobulated in this series. 🙂 Different tests show different things, but if I pool them together along with all the great info you give in these series and in Mary’s, I think I’m a 5 wing 4 with also a strong 9 in there. I’ve been meaning to ask you – What difference do traumatic life events play on these types? Especially as a child. Does the makeup God has given them get hidden until they work through things? More personally, do I withdraw as a 4 because I’ve been hurt a lot by people in my life? Do I move away for perspective as a 5 because I was devastatingly hurt when someone else’s perspective, particularly the Bible, was forced on me? As you see, I am always analyzing in my mind what is really true and wanting to understand why things happen or what makes people tick. 🙂 Thank you for this series, my friend. It’s starting to make me realize a bit that the way I am isn’t bad. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me when I feel so different. Love and blessings to you!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I do believe that early trauma can affect how we relate to the numbers. I don’t know that trauma would change our basic type at its core, but it definitely can alter our thought patterns and behaviors, making it difficult to identify our true type for quite awhile. That could very easily be happening in your case, Trudy. It makes my heart hurt for you, friend, that you have experienced such traumatic life events, at any age. 🙁

      It might be easiest to first find the triads that fit you, then work on nailing down the number. It sounds like you might be in the thinking triad, types 5, 6, or 7. But only the 5 in this group is neighboring the feeling triad (2,3,4), which would also put you as a 5w4 (like me!) because we do feel all the feelings! 🙂 So you may be spot on with that analysis.

      But yes, trauma might still be playing a part in that too.

      Tomorrow’s post switches up the triads again into Assertive, Withdrawn, or Compliant types. But Thursday’s post might be more helpful: Competency group, Positive Outlook group, or Reactive group. That one really described me most accurately.

      Some of the triads nail me perfectly, but others don’t at all. I just try to look at the overall picture. And I know it can be overwhelming with all this information!!! I’ll try to summarize it succinctly in the end, if that’s possible! 🙂

  4. blankJean Wise

    Interesting too that often silence, solitude and stillness go hand in hand as three essential spiritual practices. Love how you attached the words engage, consent and rest in as the verbs, the action towards these practices Love this.

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