Matthew 6:9 
    Pray then like this:
    “Our Father …”
Here is an excellent article on prayer entitled “If Prayer is Such a Good Thing Why is it so Hard?” Give it a read. It’s a short article but well worth the read because it joins up prayer and the cross. The key to what he says is this quote from the article:

We must look at the cross vertically—what the cross did to God, how the cross affected infinite holiness. How the cross satisfied God.

As with every other blessing we get from God, prayer is an immense privilege that exists because of the cross, not only in what it does for us, but in what it does for God. The cross is what enables us to call God our Father and be heard. He is pleased with the work of the Son for us and is more willing to hear and answer than we are to ask. Because of the work of the Son, on the cross and at His side.

The man who taught me “Life of Christ” when I was in seminary, always began class with prayer. The prayer I remember above all the others (I don’t remember the others at all) was this one: “Our Father. Amen” and then he began the class. This is what the cross did and every time we pray we should think of it and rejoice.

This, of course means that we should use the actual words “Our Father” which I believe we should. Nothing wrong with praying “Dear God”, or “Dear Jesus”, but I think there is a reason that Jesus said to pray “Our Father” and I think it relates to the relationship that is purchased for us at the cross. Contemplate on all the unfathomable qualities of God that the Scriptures give us and then say “Our Father”. It is simply stunning that we can call such a Being as He is, our Father. Because of the cross. I can’t think of a better thing to help me pray.