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, For God is LOVE
“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” (1 John 4:7-8).
LOVE shows us the commandments of kingdom living
Which is the responsibility of showing LOVE while we are in this world. The Lord 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” (Matthew 5:17).
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 people as yourself.
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.
The Bible is a spiritual book. It is the TRUTH written down in a form for us to understand, comprehend and to follow the instructions. This TRUTH from the LIGHT of the Lord is given to us to help us think wisely.
The Lord’s prayer 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” (Acts 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. Jesus taught that “separated from me you won’t be able to do anything”. So when we pray the first thing to realize is that we must seek God’s will in the matter. Our own thinking will not always be the right choice.
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 of a family where the father had abandoned them. Two of the children are orphans. The mother is supporting the family on a teacher’s 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 said 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 said to her do you have rosary beads? (85% of the Philippines is of the Catholic faith). She said, of course. I said get them and I will show you how to pray using kingdom principles. And then get a pen and paper and write down the following;
Bead #1: Pray that God will give you what to pray for 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 for 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 bead pray scheme. It seems to have transformed their lives. They seem happier. They said they found more peace in everyday life. The burden seems to have been lifted. They found more strength to live day-to-day.
They had experienced a kingdom spiritual truth. By putting others first in their thinking, it helped alleviate the obsession of thinking about self. By acting according to the Commandments of the Lord, it brought forth more peace and contentment.