[In which we follow the Andrew Murray classic With Christ in the School of Prayer]
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (Jn 4:23-24)
Jesus spoke these words to the Samaritan woman at the well, lovingly teaching her the New Way of things. Worship is not constrained by time or place as so much of our Western culture has come to believe. Proper and worthy worship must be aligned with God’s nature which is spirit. It is also in truth, which, in the gospel of John is closely aligned with Jesus (cf 14:6). It will only be through Jesus that we learn to properly worship and pray as a part of that worship.
The Samaritan woman cannot immediately grasp what she is being told and are not automatically able to approach the throne in prayer properly. We need the Spirit through whom Christ will instruct us. He has not left us simply with a set of instructions to follow in the Bible but the Lord has also provided us with a paraclete, a helper who will guide our practice. When we have received this gift is when we are able to pray in spirit and truth, or at least, to begin to.