A Prayer for Mandiba


Merciful God, Author of salvation, Giver of every gracious gift,
we give thanks for the life and witness of your servant, Nelson Mandela.
His quest for freedom
was a witness to your saving power in our world–
a power that can break the shackles of sin and oppression and hatred.
And his commitment to justice
gave us a glimpse of what your kingdom should look like —
a place where swords of war
can actually be traded for the plowshares of peace;
a place where bitter enemies can, by your grace, become friends.

Receive your servant, Mandiba,
and grant him the eternal rest of your saints.

May he rest in your mercy and rise in your glory.
And may we, your Church,
follow his witness of peace and justice marked by reconciliation.

For when we do,
we know we are also following the ways of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,

who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns now and forevermore.

Ben Gosden

Special Contributor to UMR

Special Contributor

This story was written by a special contributor to The United Methodist Reporter. You may send your article submissions to

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
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