Don’t panic. This has to do with performance anxiety, not lack of love for God. Imagine the pressure. All eyes are on you; you are expected to P-R-A-Y… surely there are some pretty important rules about praying. What if you break one of them? Or… maybe it goes like this: What could be more intimate than prayer? When you pray, you are revealing your heart. Now, imagine that the person you want most to please is sitting on the side of your bed waiting for you to pour out your heart on command.
See? Performance anxiety. Take the pressure off. You want your child to know how to live a praying life– a life lived in the flow of the power and provision of God– not just know how to say good prayers. Weave prayer into your day, making it spontaneous and rule-less. Mentor your children in prayer, and prayer will become as natural as conversation to them.
DISCLAIMER: If you watch the short video below, I reference the book of Matthew, but I know it is the book of John to which I am referring. Brain freeze caught on tape. Gotta love it.)
Jennifer Kennedy Dean is Executive director of The Praying Life Foundation and a respected author and speaker. She is the author of numerous books, studies, and magazine articles specializing in prayer and spiritual formation. Visit her web site for more information about her ministry.