The Point of Beginning: Faith in Christ
a treatise on the manner of prayer

To achieve fellowship with the Spirit, prayer and fasting are indispensable. Still, we must begin with the true faith in our lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who came into the world to save sinners (I Timothy, Chapter 1, Verse 15). Through His promise we have access to the Holy Spirit (John Chapter 14, Verse 16), the Kingdom of God (John Chapter 3, Verse 3-5) and the blessings of life eternal (John Chapter 17, Verse 3).

In our daily prayers, "Come and live in us, wash us from all our sins, and save our souls, O Good One," we can be confident of His desire to help us. This is not to imply "good works" are a means of salvation. Nothing is earned by "works" - the fruits of obedience and complete self-dedication to God and His purpose. They are not virtues, but our grateful response to the redeeming grace and mercy of the Living God revealed and outpoured in Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior of all.

Read prayers before God from the Prayer Book, meditating (thinking deeply) on the meaning of each word. Though you may feel nothing , God hears you. And one day the Holy Spirit Himself will stop you in the middle of a prayer and pray in you, for "the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which are too deep for words" (Romans Chapter 8 , Verse 26).

When He does, it is time to stop speaking, listen to Him and be led. The purpose of personal worship is to submerge our selfish human personality and become a vehicle of the Spirit. This does not mean our personality is destroyed; instead, it is raised to a higher level through communion with the perfect personality of the Holy Spirit.

Proper prayer should not be identified or equated with petition or request. Praying does not necessarily mean "asking," though it always means "seeking." We begin by laying our needs, defects and weaknesses before God. He already knows our needs and sorrows much better than we ourselves (Matthew Chapter 6, Verse 8) , but we must ask. And he is always ready to help - even before we ask.