Sharing a Few Thoughts in a Tribute to the great man that is Nelson Mandela,. Also a Prayer for Southern Africa

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking;
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."

- Marianne Williamson

I love these words from Marianne Williamson as used by Nelson Mandela in his inaugeration speech as State President at South Africa's first Democratic Election in 1994. I have admired and respected 'Madiba' for many years - his graciousness and the nobility of his unique spirit of reconciliation". Nelson Mandela’s integrity, his sense of humour, his forgiveness of human frailty, his "immense generosity of spirit", his faith in reconciliation - and above all, by the sacrifices he personally made. All this ensured his "beloved" country would remain a beacon to the world, an example of a different mode of thinking, a new way of viewing problems as challenges. And as South Africa (and the African National Congress) prepares to choose a new President to succeed Thabo Mbeki, it is vitally important that this new democracy succeeds in the future, not just for South Africa’s sake, but as 'a beacon of hope' for the entire world.

"Deep within us there is a flame that burns, and that flame is the spark of God. In some it burns brightly, in others it is barely distinguishable; but always it burns...and with love and acceptance the flame gets higher and brighter. We can help others to kindle this flame by seeing the good in them, even if they don't see it themselves."
-anon

Whatever you are
no matter whether it is
a brain surgeon, an artist, a street sweeper,
always just be the best you can possibly be.

*************

Article Title: Prayer for South Africa (and especially Southern Africa and specifically, Zimbabwe, Darfur in Sudan and Somalia - Updated)
Author: Craig Lock
Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles.html

Publishing Guidelines:
This Prayer was originally written in 1994 (before South Africa's first "Democratic" election. I have updated it slightly (today - 4am!) and am sharing it with a view to helping create global awareness of the current desperate plight of South Africa's northern neighbour, Zimbabwe. This prayer may be freely published (and prayed)... and If these writings make a difference in people's lives by encouraging or bringing some joy in an often very dark world, then I'm very happy.
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Prayer for South Africa (and especially Southern Africa and most importantly, Zimbabwe...and Darfur in Sudan)

We join in prayer to celebrate this new nation and surrender its destiny to you. We give thanks in our hearts to the founding of this vibrant nation of diverse peoples, a beautiful yet tragic land built upon the rivers of blood, that flowed from our forefathers; yet still flow today...a 'happy sad' land of such contrasts. We give thanks for and bless the souls of those, who came before us and prepared this nation, to nurture and to save it; because so many gave their lives for it, some selflessly and many needlessly.

We ask that God's Holy Spirit now fill the hearts of all this great nation's citizens with thoughts of goodwill, righteousness, justice, acceptance and respect for others. In this may we be cleansed of all destructive thoughts. May judgement of others, bigotry, racism and intolerance be washed clean from our hearts, like the blood of our forefathers.
God, instill in us especially a generous spirit of forgiveness and hope for the future.
May we play our parts, all of us, in the healing and the furtherance of our diverse country; so that South Africa will one day fulfill its immense potential, a promise yet to be fulfilled. To do the very best within our abilities in developing "the Beloved Country" socially, politically, economically and spiritually...in a spirit of acceptane, co-operation, reconciliation and peace - each and every one of us.

Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision - to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.
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Dear Almighty God, you are all-powerful and omnipresent. You hold each one of us in the palms of your mighty hands. May our minds be filled with the thoughts of You; Your unconditional love and Your acceptance of all Your people, Your children. May this nation be forgiven its transgressions against its fellow citizens of all races and creeds and any and all others… so that we as a nation can move forward in harmony and prosperity.

May our lives be turned to instruments of resurrection and reconciliation, to reach out and bring all our peoples together, that the sins of our fathers might be reversed through us, His children. Let us forgive, even if we can never forget. May the rich promises of this beautiful country of such contrasts be fulfilled...at long last.

The greatest resource in any nation is its citizens; so may the beauty and greatness of this rich, diverse and vibrant land burst forth in the hearts of all it's people. Out of the mistakes and tragedy of the past, may the dreams of our forefathers be realised in us; so that we might live with thoughts of goodwill, honesty, integrity, excellence and peace with our neighbours in a bright new dawn..

May this country become a light at the top of the hill unto all the nations of this world (but especially in the "dark" neglected continent of Africa): so that our country will be a beacon of goodness, tolerance of differences, freedom, peace and especially hope.
(Because the human condition has far more in common, than our cultural, ethnic and racial differences) May violence and darkness be cast out of our midst. May hatred no longer find fertile ground in which to grow here. May all of us feel God's, the Ultimate Source of Life's immeasurable mercy, infinite Grace and Love upon each one of us.

Dear God, please, please ignite in our hearts, in the depths of our souls the spark of Your light, the spirit of truth. May our newborn nation be given a new light: one of justice and rightiousness that will be seared into our hearts, the sacred fire of freedom, democracy, the spirit of reconciliation and Your forgiveness for past transgressions: So that the flame of 'ubuntu', the generosity of spirit burns brightly in the heart of all New South Africans. A new light of Love that will shine so brightly right across this vast land as a beacon of hope for the future - from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, from the Limpopo in the north to the Cape of Storms at the southern tip of Africa. May we be forgiven - each one of us. May our children be blessed. May we be renewed. May each one of us be filled with the spirit of the Almighty, the Divine. In our lives may the "Rainbow Children of the Beloved Country" manifest the glory of God, that lies within every one of us.

Dear God, please bless South Africa

Amen

Craig Lock (1994)

P.S: These days please pray especially for all the citizens of South Africa's neigbour, the "blighted" Southern African nation of Zimbabwe, as well as the poor persecuted citizens of Darfur in Sudan and in Somalia.

"Lest we forget!"

craig (January 2007)

http://www2.webng.com/writernz/books.html and
http://www.craiglockbooks.com

Author's Note: This prayer was originally based on the most inspirational 'Prayer for America' by Marianne Williamson (www.marianne.com). Incidentally, I received a most appreciative and gracious message from former South African President, Nelson Mandela for sharing these thoughts with him "many many moons back" in 1994 ("names-dropping" again there, craig!). This icon of reconcilation and magnanimity has and will remain a great inspiration to me in my writing... for 'Madiba's' integrity, immense 'nobility and generosity of spirit'.

Craig Lock's novel on South Africa 'Over the Rainbow' is available at:
www.lulu.com/craiglock

A look at the many colourful peoples, who make up this diverse and vibrant society, as seen through the eyes of a newspaper reporter.

He is presently working on his latest novel 'The Awakened Spirit', based on some true and inspiring stories.

THIS PRAYER MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED (AND PRAYED)

Author's Bio: 

Craig still loves his former "beloved" country of South Africa, but also his new home of New Zealand, as well as writing, but then what other job would be suitable for him?