Jesus taught the disciples to pray starting with “our father”. Those two seemingly simple words that specify whom our prayer is addressed to are in my opinion the most important part of our prayer and entire Christian life.
In saying “our father”, we strip prayer of all the empty formality with which religious people tend to hamper the experience of communing with God. No one approaches their earthly father with officious protocol, and our Heavenly Father being infinitely more perfect requires such awkwardness even less.
In prayer, Jesus sets ample examples for us: he often simply lifts up his face heavenwards and says “thank you father”. No theatrics, no particularly strenuous effort to use up his vocabulary and raise his voice as though God was hard of hearing.
Our access to God is entirely contingent on our accepting his offer of adoption. Unless we accept him as father, we are in no position to commune with him. Upon accepting this free gift however, there remains no further basis to stay in the outer courts; he insists that we come boldly to he throne of grace.
I have two children of my own and I would be amused and perhaps distressed if they taught they would have to do some things that believers do in the name of prayer, in order to get my attention. I love my children and long before they realize that their school fees is due, I have been planning and working to get it paid. Well, God says compared to him, I am an evil father and if I can be so concerned about my kids’ school fees, then how much more concerned is He about my needs.
If there is one revelation that believers need to catch in these times, it is that blessed revelation of the Almighty God as our father. When next you pray, remember you are talking to your father.