Before we can begin any discussion about how to love the neighbor in prayer we must look at two Scriptures, in particular,
“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
Jesus repeated this commandment while on earth;
He said, “Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?” Jesus answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matthew 22:36-37).
These two Scriptures lay the Foundation and Ground Work for all Prayer
Why? Because they are in turn drawn from the truth found in the holiest document this earth has ever seen. It is called the Decalogue and it is also referred to as the Ten Commandments. This is the only document ever written by the finger of God. It is the blueprint of the Kingdom of God, drawn from the very essence of God Himself – LOVE.
LOVE Comes From GOD
“Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God’s child. And so everyone who loves knows God”. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1Jn 4:7-8).
LOVE shows us the commandments of kingdom living. Which is the responsibility of LOVE while we are on this earth. Jesus, God as a human being came to SHED MORE LIGHT on the Ten Commandments. For He said;
“Don’t think that I have come to destroy the Law of Moses or the teaching of the prophets. I have come not to destroy their teachings but to give full meaning to them” (Mat 5:17). There you go – TO GIVE FULL MEANING.
So as shown above Jesus answered the question; “…which command in the law is the most important?”. He said the first and foremost command is to LOVE GOD. And the second command is to LOVE MAN or your neighbor. So how does the child of God or the person of His church go about this command in wisdom and in truth? We must think spiritually and not earthly.
Fig 1:1 click to enlarge
From figure 1:1 we can see if we think naturally (not spiritually) toward the neighbor we err and come to the wrong conclusions. Our prayers and our concerns toward our neighbor is essentially wasted energy. It is not in line with the Divine design that is outlined for us in the Bible. And the Bible is a spiritual book. It is the TRUTH written down in a form for us to understand, comprehend and to follow that TRUTH from the LIGHT given us, is it not?
So this brings us to the real kicker. The Lord’s prayer. It sheds even more light on the Ten Commandments;
The Lord’s Prayer – When You Pray
“So this is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, we pray that your name will always be kept holy. We pray that your kingdom will come— that what you want will be done here on earth, the same as in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).
“I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I to you, you will produce plenty of fruit. But separated from me you won’t be able to do anything” (John 15:5).
“For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also certain of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring” (Act 17:28)
From these two verses alone can see we can do nothing ourselves. In HIM we live, move, breath, think and HAVE OUR BEING. So as Jesus said, “…separated from me you won’t be able to do anything”. So when we pray the very first thing to realize is that in order for two to hook up they first must be agreed.
LOVE Does Not Seek Its Own, Neither do We in Prayer For the Neighbor
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth. Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits”.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
The Example of the Rosary Beads
I know a family in the Republic of the Philippines. The father had abandoned them. Two of the children are orphans. The mother is supporting six people on a teachers salary of around $200 a month. She is not only the teacher but janitor and works extra hours as a student tutor. She is struggling to put the three children on to college so they will have decent jobs and a decent life.
She told me she is exhausted. The pressure and burden of life are making her despair. She wonders if she can go on. She is afraid the children will not finish college for lack of funding.
I felt God was impressing something on my mind in wisdom. I said to her do you have rosary beads? (85% of the Philippines is of the Catholic faith). She said, of course, all devout Catholics have them. I said get them and I will show you how to pray using kingdom principles. I said get a pen and paper and write down the following;
Bead #1: Prayer that God will give you what to pray according to His will. Go until you can not think of anything else.
Bead #2: Pray for all the people you can think that come to your mind. The people you work with. The taxi driver. The president. Whatever. And not yourself and direct family. Go until you can not think of anything else.
Bead #3: Pray for your family and friends. Pray for their needs. Do not pray yourself. Go until you can not think of anything else.
Bead #4: Pray for yourself and your requests. “Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have” (Philippians 4:6)
At first, she protested and rejected the idea. “But my life and my burden are what needs prayer!, I need relief!”. I just said will you try it?. She said she would try.
The next time I spoke to her she said she and the children had tried the rosary beads thing praying together. It seems to have transformed their lives. They seem happy. They said they found the peace they never knew they could experience. The burden seems to have been lifted. They have found the strength to live day to day.
Well, they had found a kingdom spiritual truth!