If he is Father, then he is good, then he is loving to his children.  And here is the first and great reason for prayer.  God is willing to bless; let us ask for a blessing.  ‘Our Father’ — our Creator, the Author of our being; he who raised us from the dust of the earth, who breathed into us the breath of life, and we became living souls.  But if he made us, let us ask, and he will not withhold any good thing from the work of his own hands.  ‘Our Father’ — our Preserver, who day by day sustains the life he has given; of whose continuing love we now and every moment receive life and breath and all good things.  So much the more boldly let us come to him, and ‘we shall find mercy and grace to help in time of need’.  Above all, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of all that believe in him; who justifies us ‘freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Jesus’; who hath ‘blotted out all our sins’, ‘and healed our infirmities’; who hath received us for ‘his own children, by adoption and grace’, ‘and because we are his sons, hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying Abba, Father’; ‘who hath begotten us again of incorruptible seed’, and ‘created us anew in Christ Jesus’.  Therefore we know that he heareth us always; therefore we ‘pray’ to him ‘without ceasing’.  We pray, because we love.  And ‘we love him, because he first loved us.’

Upon our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, VI (1748)

I’ve been mulling on this short excerpt for a few days. As I read it, this is all about relationship. God desires that we be in a relationship with him. The nature of that relationship, when we understand God truly, is that He is our Father; as Wesley puts it, not just our Creator but the one who “created us anew in Christ Jesus.” I wonder … is this the understanding of God’s nature that most churches are hearing from the pulpit today?