As I listen to people pray, one thing I’ve noticed is the prevalence of those who almost exclusively address God as “Lord,” and only rarely, if ever, call Him “Father,” when they pray. If that’s your habit, may I humbly suggest that you might be missing a major part of the essence of what it is to pray? Not that you’re wrong to call Him “Lord,” because obviously He is that. But if your whole prayer life is within the boundaries of going to the One who is Lord for direction and commands, it’s not that you’re understanding is wrong, but it is quite incomplete.
Spend some time meditating on the fact that the eternal Creator, to Whom you pray, has saved you by the sacrifice of His Son; and that He is so pleased by that sacrifice that He is absolutely delighted to welcome you into His presence, approaching Him primarily as Father.
My daughter can ask me for anything. God is more capable of providing than I am, not less. He is greater in wisdom than I am, not less. He is more loving than I am, not less. And yet, my daughter knows in the core of her being that she can come to me for provision, for help, for guidance, for comfort, for protection, and boldly ask me for anything her heart desires. She knows that she owes me nothing in return for what she requests, either in advance of my granting it or after the fact.
She asks; she receives; she says, “thank you.” And my heart never regrets having met her need, never hopes it will be a while before she returns with another request, and never judges her unworthy of my love or help, even if she has done wrong. Because as her parent, I am not primarily her boss—my main identity in relationship to her is as her father.
And as good as I am to her, it doesn’t compare to how your Father in heaven is to you. So how much more can you approach your Father in heaven that way. Understanding that He hears your cries for help with the heart of a deeply-loving Father who delights in hearing and answering your prayers. And when you gather together with your brothers and sisters to pray, He is there, rejoicing to take you all together into His lap, to listen, to help, to speak, and to meet every need. Picture that at your next prayer meeting, and see if it doesn’t add new life to your faith and willingness to ask Him to do great things in your life and church. Yes, He is Lord. But remember when Christ taught us to pray, He said to see Him as Father.