How does a nation pray?
Today the nation prays as a family prays.
We offer a prayer of adoration to the God who is a liberator God. Holy and Mighty. Strong to Save. A God who has led our nation from the house of bondage to the home of freedom. The God who gave us Nelson Mandela, the father for our nation.
We offer a prayer of contrition. We come with humble and broken hearts for all the ways we have fallen short of the glory of God. We come carrying our sorrow for all of the ways that we have fallen short of the example that Madiba offered us; an example of integrity, of reconciliation, of leadership in the service of the people.
We offer a prayer of thanksgiving. We give thanks to God that saintliness is not a perfection beyond our reach but that saintliness is embodied by real human beings with all their flaws and foibles. So we thank God for Rolihlahla. We thank God that this man had the courage to learn and to grow. That this man had the courage to be more than he or we could imagine, and that this man had the courage to be a man for all our people.
We offer a prayer of supplication. As we stand before God with all of our grief we ask God to bless South Africa. God bless South Africa, guide our leaders, guard our children and give us peace.