Daily Devotionals

February 4th, 2023

Read Mark 12:29-31 NLT

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

Love God. Love others. That’s Jesus’s response when asked which of the laws was the most important to which the Jewish people should adhere.  Sounds fairly simply, right? But for hundreds of years prior, Israel had struggled to really love God and to love others fully.  They would try for a while and then fail miserably, over and over and over again.  

Loving God and loving others sounds simple, but if we were completely honest, we would have to admit that we aren’t much different than the Israelites.  We, too, struggle to really love God consistently…forget about loving others! 

As we wrap up our series on prayer it may seem strange to start here – Loving God and loving others. Jesus knew that these two ideas really are the foundation for every part of our relationship with God and it is a theme we see played out over and over in Scripture. Maybe by starting here we can reframe the way we look at prayer…and maybe change the way we approach God in prayer. 

Let’s start by asking ourselves a few questions: When I pray, am I showing God that I love Him with all that I am – my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength? Am I loving others through my prayer time, or is prayer time mostly about me?