Commentary on John 4:24—How to Worship God in Spirit and Truth
God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
God is a Spirit. Only with our hearts can we connect with His Spirit. Therefore, when we are praying to God, we should speak honestly and truly and say what is in our hearts. If we just say something against our will, or speak empty words or make great boasts, then no matter how much we pray, God won’t listen. It’s just as the Bible says: “For as much as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me” (Isaiah 29:13). Praying without a sincere heart is just cheating God, so God doesn’t approve of such prayers.
Relevant Words of God:
When praying, you must have a heart that is quiet before God, and you must have a sincere heart. You are truly communing and praying with God—you must not try to wheedle God with nice-sounding words. Prayer should center upon that which God wishes to accomplish right now. Ask God to grant you greater enlightenment and illumination, bring your actual states and your troubles into His presence when you pray, including the resolution that you made before God. Prayer is not about following procedure; it is about seeking God with a sincere heart. Ask that God protect your heart, so that your heart may often be quiet before Him; that in the environment in which He has placed you, you would know yourself, despise yourself, and forsake yourself, thus allowing you to have a normal relationship with God and truly become someone who loves God.
Excerpted from “Concerning the Practice of Prayer”