By: Bishop Arthur F. Mosley

Recently, I heard about those in the military refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.  This quickly caused me to remember my days in boot camp and preparing to be shipped off to boot-camp.  I remember not being given a choice, as it relates to my being vaccinated.  I can’t tell you the number of shots I took.  I don’t even know what I was given shots for.  All I knew is that I was under a mandate and had to take the shots. 

Well, there is another mandate we are under.  We are under another mandate which I refuse to resist, rebel against, or push against it.  No, it is not a mandate for the COVID-19 vaccine.  The mandate I’m talking about comes from the Lord.  It is a mandate for us to pray. 

What is a mandate?  What does the word mandate mean?  Well, a mandate is an authoritative command, an official order or commission to do something.[1]  Today, people don’t like mandates.  We don’t like being told what to do.  But the Lord does gives mandates.  His mandates are good for us, and they put us in His will.  The Lord has called us to many things, including to love one another, love Him, and worship Him.  He also has called us to pray. 

There are several Hebrew and Greek terms in the Bible that translate to prayer/pray.  At the core, the biblical meaning of prayer is to turn one’s heart, will and mind towards God as he offers earnest petitions, thanks, and adoration to God.  These petitions can be for oneself and/or for others.  At the heart, prayer is talking with God about our needs, desires, and situations. 

Where specifically do we find this mandate for prayer?  I want all of us to know and realize that this is a call of God.  God has called us to prayer.  Here are a few places we find the mandate.  First, look at Philippians 4:6:

Philippians 4:6 ESV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.[2]

Philippians 4:6 KJV

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.[3]

Notice, we are called to pray in everything.  This means in all situations.  Here we are called to replace worry with prayer.  Next, I want you to read Romans 12:12 and Colossians 4:2: 

Romans 12:12 ESV

12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.[1]

Romans 12:12 KJV

12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;[2]

Colossians 4:2 ESV

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. [3]

Colossians 4:2 KJV

2 dContinue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;[4]

Did you notice the repeated use of constant and continue?  In the Greek text, it is the same term in both passages.  The term is PROSKARTEREO.  It means to be devoted to and to persevere with intense effort despite difficulties.  As it relates to prayer, we are called to keep on, persist, endure in, and remain faithful despite the challenges.  For me, this means we are to keep talking to the Lord, no matter what.

Finally, I want you to read Luke 18:1.  Here we are given Jesus’ purpose for telling the parables that follow.  The verse reads:

Luke 18:1 ESV

18 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. [5]

Luke 18:1 KJV

18 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; [6]

His purpose for the parables in this chapter are to help us understand that we ought always to pray. Always here means at all times, on every occasion.  This is very similar to everything in Philippians 4:6.  In addition to always, we have the term ought.  It means required, necessary, obligation, and must.  For me, this is not a suggestion, but it is a demand that we must put on ourselves, making this our purpose and duty.  This makes prayer an unconditional necessity. 

The call to prayer and the mandate to pray is a call/mandate to do what is necessary.  We are to see prayer as something that is a must, something that is necessary, and something that is mandated.  Still, prayer is not to be viewed as a chore or an unpleasant task.  We should view prayer as a privilege.  This is one mandate we should embrace with joy! 

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ro 12:12.

[2] The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Ro 12:12.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Col 4:2.

[4] The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Col 4:2.

[5] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Lk 18:1.

[6] The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Lk 18.
[1]
Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, eds., Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Php 4:6.

[3] The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Php 4:6.