When Paul says that some people have their minds set on the things of the flesh and others have their minds set on the things of the Spirit, he is not using the word mind in a merely intellectual sense. He is talking about our mindset ("… set their minds… "). He is talking about our whole mentality, what we dwell upon, the tilt of our likes and dislikes, what we respect and admire, what we want out of life, what we aspire after. The paraphrase by J.B. Phillips is telling: "The carnal attitude sees no further than natural things. But the spiritual attitude reaches out after the things of the Spirit."

Paul himself was like this. He discovered in Jesus a treasure so rich that he took all his hard-won lifetime achievement awards and junked them in order to have Jesus. And then he looked at that pile of earthly prizes there in the dumpster, threw his head back and laughed: "I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ" (Phil. 3:8, RSV). If you are a Christian, but bored, maybe you need to lose something. You cannot just add Jesus to an already crowded life. So what do you need to off-load, so that your heart can feel the surpassing worth of knowing Christ? And do not stop off-loading until that sense of privilege in Jesus really starts to percolate. When our hearts thrill to his surpassing worth, the world loses its appeal.

—Ray Ortlund, Supernatural Living for Natural People (Focus, 2013), 40-41. Underlining added.

How does God's Word impact our prayers?

God invites His children to talk with Him, yet our prayers often become repetitive and stale. How do we have a real conversation with God? How do we come to know Him so that we may pray for His will as our own?

In the Bible, God speaks to us as His children and gives us words for prayer—to praise Him, confess our sins, and request His help in our lives.

We’re giving away a free eBook copy of Praying the Bible, where Donald S. Whitney offers practical insight to help Christians talk to God with the words of Scripture.