“Jesus answered, ‘The most important is here O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength. The second is this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.'”
– Mark 12:29–31
I know that if you follow this podcast not long ago as we were praying through the Gospel of Matthew, when we came to Matthew 22, we prayed according to very similar verses.
Mark 12:29–31 Teaches us about the Two Greatest Commandments
Jesus saying almost exactly the same thing there. But I want to lead us to pray again according to the first and greatest commandment and the second greatest commandment according to Jesus, because, well, it’s the greatest commandment. We need to pray for this all the time.
And I just want to encourage you, as you think about praying in your own life and praying for others’ lives, we often ask each other, how can I pray for you? Which is a good question to ask. And there are things we want to know that are going on in people’s lives that we can be praying specifically for. But let’s not forget that most of the things we need to pray for each other for, we don’t have to ask others about.
They’re in God’s word. We have so many things in God’s word that we need to pray for each other, and I would put these verses in Mark 12 as well as Matthew 22 at the top of the list. If you’re ever wondering how to pray for someone, pray for this, pray that they would love God wholeheartedly, that they would love others selflessly. I would love for you to pray that for me.
If the Lord ever brings me to your mind, just pray for those two things and that that’ll cover pretty much everything else. And the same is true for anybody we’re praying for, that we would love God wholeheartedly and love others selflessly. I pray this over my wife and my kids all the time. I pray this over the members of the church I serve all the time.
Mark 12:29–31 Encourages to Pray according to these Realities
I pray this over my kids’ future spouses. If God leads them to be married, this is the one thing I pray more than anything else for them, that they would marry someone who loves God wholeheartedly and loves them and others selflessly. And if they’re doing that, then I’ll be really happy with who they’re marrying. So I just want to encourage you with these verses to pray this all the time over your life and over others’ lives.
So, God, we pray this right now in light of your word that you would help us to love you with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength, with everything we have, that you would help us to love you supremely, wholeheartedly, more than anyone else, anything else, more than everyone and everything else in the world put together, that you would be supreme in our hearts. God, we pray for that. Knowing that we love because you first loved us. We love in light of your love for us. We praise you that we’ve been created for a love relationship with you, and we want to experience that to the full. So help us to love you wholeheartedly.
And, God, we pray that today you would help us to love others selflessly, you would help us to lay down our lives to put others before us today, to live, to build up the people around us, to encourage the people around us, to spur the people around us toward Jesus, to share the Gospel with people that they might know Jesus and they might enter into a love relationship with you. God, we pray that you would help us to put aside our pride, our selfish ambition, vain conceit, our desire for our reputation, or our comfort. You help us to love people humbly and selflessly, compassionately. And boldly today with the Gospel.
Praying for the Khlor People
God, we pray that the Khlor people of Laos would be reached because people are laying down their lives in love for them. God, please raise up your church to lay down our lives and love for the lost around us and for the unreached around the world. Lord, we pray for this in our lives and we pray this over all the people that come to our minds and hearts now and will today.
God, lead us to pray for this over and over and over again in the lives of our family and friends and church members and just other people that we’re sharing life with. We pray that they would love you wholeheartedly and love others selflessly. Oh God, we love praying according to your word. And we pray this, Mark 12:29–31, in Jesus’ name over our lives and others’ lives. Amen.