“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” The opening of the Lord’s Prayer.
Good and right prayer begins with focus towards the Divine (our Heavenly Father), adoration of His Holy Name, and a reminder to ourselves that He is Holy.
Now, in some churches there is discussion about using the term “Father” when referring to God. Is God a He or She? The eternal truth is that God is neither a He or a She. God is God—sacred, hallowed, above, and beyond complete human understanding. Perhaps then interchanging the terminology of how we refer to God from time to time is a healthy habit. The main point to remember here: God is our Heavenly Parent. He is not able to fail like earthly parents do. He is instead always loving, protecting, guiding, correcting, affirming, and rebuking us in a pure, holy way.
So then, we should approach God like children might a parent. There is a sense of trepidation, excitement, awe, and shelter. This is what the Bible often refers to as “fearing God”, but it is really a much more complex set of emotions than simple fear. (More on that at a different time, perhaps.) This then is actually the greatest news: we are able to commune with God directly through Jesus Christ.
We reorient ourselves when we start to pray, remembering that God is holy and heavenly, yet approachable and present.