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Scripture teaches us that there are only two conditions possible for the Christian: one is to walk according to the Spirit and the other is to walk according the flesh. These two powers are in irreconcilable conflict with each other. So most Christians—even though they may be born again through the Spirit and have received the life of God—still continue to live their life not according to the Spirit but according to the flesh. In Galatians 5 Paul mentions as the work of the flesh not only grave sins such as adultery, murder, and drunkenness but also the more ordinary sins of daily life: anger, strife, and arguing. The majority of Christians have no real knowledge of the deep sinfulness and godlessness of the carnal nature to which they unconsciously yield. The flesh can say prayers well enough, calling itself religious for so doing and thus satisfy the conscience. But the flesh has no desire or strength for the prayer that strives after an intimate knowledge of God, that rejoices in fellowship with Him, and that continues to lay hold of His strength. The Christian who is still carnal (fleshly) has neither the disposition nor the strength to follow after God. He remains satisfied with his prayer of habit or custom. But the glory and the blessedness of secret prayer is a hidden thing to him, until one day his eyes are opened, and he begins to see that the flesh in its disposition to turn away from God is the archenemy that makes powerful prayer impossible. Do not seek to find in circumstances the explanation for this prayerlessness over which we mourn. Seek it where God’s Word declares it to be—in the hidden aversion of the heart to a holy God. (Excerpted from The Andrew Murray Daily Reader in Today’s Language, pg. 248)

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