In addition, however, we must not confuse worship with feeling, for worship does not originate with the soul either, any more than it originates with the body. The soul is the seat of our emotions. It may be the case, and often is, that the emotions are stirred in real worship. At times tears fill the eyes or joy floods the heart. But unfortunately, it is possible for these things to happen without worship being present. It is possible to be moved by a song or by oratory, and yet not come to a genuine awareness of God and a fuller praise of His ways and nature. True worship occurs only when man's spirit, that part of him which is akin to the divine nature (for God is spirit), actually meets with God, praising Him for His love, wisdom, beauty, truth, holiness, compassion, mercy, grace, power, and all His other attributes.

Another way of making this point about worship being essential is to note that there are three great "musts" in John's gospel. The first occurs in chapter 3, verse 7, where Jesus said, "Ye must be born again." The second is in verse 14 of the same chapter. “Even so must the Son of Man be lifted up." The verses we are studying give us the third “must,” for they say that all who worship God "must worship him in spirit and in truth.” In other words these three doctrines–the necessity for the new birth, the necessity of Christ's death, and the necessity of true worship–belong together. 

But in spite of the obvious truth that the worship of God is important and even imperative for Christians, it is a sad fact that in our day much that passes for worship is not worship at all. And many who sincerely desire to worship God do not always know how to go about it or where to begin. And so they ask questions such as, "What is worship anyway?" “Who can worship?” “Where can one worship?” “How does one worship?” 

If God feels far away when you begin to pray, what are you to do in this case? Should you stop and pray some other time, saying, "Well I'm not getting through today, I'll come back tomorrow"? Oh no! In fact you probably need prayer most at that moment. You see, instead of not praying at that moment, you should simply be still and, looking to God, ask Him to work through His Holy Spirit to make Himself real to you and to lead you into His presence. Many Christians find that their most wonderful times of prayer are those in which they start without clear sense of God's presence, but come to it fully by praying. 

Second, the fact that you come to God through Christ means that you can come without guilt. One of my friends says that he believes guilt is the major culprit in keeping people from praying, and I believe he is right. People do feel guilty before God. They feel ashamed and unqualified to ask anything from Him. There are good reasons for this guilt, too, but the fact that you come through Jesus Christ means that you come as one whose guilt is removed. Yes, you are a sinner; but the sin has been dealt with and so now you stand as a righteous person before God.