Call for prayers for Nelson Mandela

Christians across South Africa are praying for former President Nelson MandelaAP

The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town has asked Christians to pray for Nelson Mandela.

Mr Mandela, 94, is expected to spend Christmas in hospital, where he is being treated for a lung infection and gallstones.

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba spent three days fasting and praying for South Africa after Mr Mandela was admitted two weeks ago.

He ended his prayers at Freedom Park at a service for Reconciliation Day.

The Archbishop is asking Christians to pray for Mr Mandela during the Christmas period.

"Spare a moment please," he pleaded.

The Archbishop has written a prayer specially for Mr Mandela and his family:

At Advent we sing and pray, O come, O come Emmanuel.
We ask now, for Emmanuel, God with us, to be with Madiba and Me Graça
Come Emmanuel and release our Madiba from the scourge of ill health;
Come Emmanuel and offer Madiba everlasting healing;
You are a God who knows vulnerability, weakness and frailty,
You are Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Lord of life and death,
Your power sustains us in life and death.

May your arms of love, stretched wide on the cross for us,
Now enfold Madiba, and Graça, with compassion, comfort and
the conviction that you will never forsake them but that
you will grant Madiba eternal healing and relief from pain and suffering.
And may your blessing rest upon Madiba now and always. Amen.

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