Worshiping in Spirit and Truth

Jesus said to the Samaritan Woman: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  (John 4:23-24)

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“But God does not seek mere believers.  Rather, he seeks ‘true worshipers … who worship him … in spirit and truth’ (Jn 4:23,24).  Here Christ, refers to the lawful state of prayer that is recognized by the Father.  For God is truth, and he accepts no prayer except in truth.  Such a prayer knows him well and surely believes in him.  God is Spirit, and he accept no prayer except in spirit.  Such a prayer knows what eternal life is and submits to the Spirit of God.  Therefore, the prayer that is in spirit and truth is the only prayer acceptable to God.  It is thus an expression of true spiritual contact with God.  This definition is actually the summary of the whole clear-cut theological concept of true prayer, or spiritual prayer.

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Moreover, Christ’s words that God ‘seeks’ such worshipers, or prayerful people, reveals the value and need for prayer from God’s point of view: God seeks (Jn 4:23).  The word seeks implies that God looks for man’s prayer and shares in providing the circumstances and possibilities for its success.  It is as if the existence of man hangs ultimately in the eyes of God on the existence of those who worship him in spirit and truth!  True prayer here appears as the only channel or bond between man and God.  Without prayer, man loses the meaning of his existence and the purpose of his creation.

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Oh that we should always remember that God ever seeks our worship!  It is as if he awaits the hour of our prayer.”   (Matthew the Poor,  ORTHODOX PRAYER LIFE, p 31)