A wonderful insight from Norman Nagel:
It is only because God has come to be our Father that we can pray to Him. Only because Christ has taken away our sins on Himself and wiped them out by His victorious death can we stand before God, forgiven, His children in Christ. Only as we are bound to Christ can we come before God as His children, for then God sees us in Christ, wearing the garment of Christ's righteousness. This is the key to a living connection with God our Father. All contact, all prayer with Him must be in Christ, in the name of Jesus, that is, with faith in Him.
Isn't that good news!
From "Selected Sermons" page 139.