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Prayers urged as South African MPs debate state of nation

Posted on: February 11, 2016 3:54 PM
Preparations at the South African Parliament for the State of the Nation address to be delivered this evening by President Jacob Zuma
Photo Credit: Government of South Africa / GCIS

[ACNS] The Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, has called for prayers for South Africa as the country’s Parliament debates the state of the nation.

President Jacob Zuma will deliver his annual State of the Nation Address at 7.00 pm this evening (5.00 pm GMT). This will be the focus of two days of debate in the nation’s Parliament beginning next Tuesday, before President Zuma replies to the debate on Thursday 18 February.

Protest groups have gathered outside the Parliament building this afternoon and police in riot gear have used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse them. Water canons have been deployed around the Parliament as tensions increase.

Yesterday, at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, Archbishop Makgoba stressed the importance of prayer for the renewal of Southern Africa and the Church in particular. He made his comments at a packed service attended by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, amongst others.

Archbishop Thabo has also composed a prayer with his director of peace and justice, the Revd Canon Desmond Lamprecht, which is being made available for use.

Prayer for Parliament

Dear God,

Celebrating 20 years of democracy in South Africa, we thank you for your faithfulness and providence to all of us.

As Parliament reopens this year, we acknowledge our past failings. We have not been conduits for a just and peaceful society; we have turned our faces away from the daily challenges of crime, corruption, unemployment, and violence against women and children.

Lord, we have trodden this road before, one on which the vast majority of our people suffer exclusion, trapped in poverty and inequality.

We pray for the leaders of our beloved country, especially those responsible for upholding our constitutional principles and values to ensure these are realised in our future;We intercede for those who execute parliamentary procedures to do so with a sense of accountability, transparency and a commitment to serve the people with honour and dignity;

May your Holy Spirit guide the deliberations of this session of Parliament so that all South Africans may experience a better life for all through the Constitution as the embodiment of our democracy.

These prayers and deep longings we express with a sure hope and belief in the Holy Spirit of God who guides all into truth, even Jesus Christ our Lord.