Prayers for 'father of the nation' Madiba

2013-07-07 14:34
A worshipper prays for former president Nelson Mandela during a church service at the Regina Mundi church in Soweto. (Markus Schreiber, AP)

A worshipper prays for former president Nelson Mandela during a church service at the Regina Mundi church in Soweto. (Markus Schreiber, AP)

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Pretoria - There is no leader like former president Nelson Mandela, a church leader said on Sunday.

"Mandela is the father of the nation. There is no leader like him. He was prepare to lay down his life for this country," said Reverend Desmond Hess, of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa.

He led his congregation from Mabopane, north of Pretoria, to pray for Mandela outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in the city.

Mandela is being treated for a recurring lung infection at the hospital, where he has been since 8 June.

In his message Hess said God was capable of healing the ailing statesman.

"God will restore you...do not worry about the mountain you are facing," Hess said after reading a verse from the book of Isaiah.

"God is in control whatever the situation. The apartheid government could not kill him...the apartheid government killed many of our leaders like Steve Biko but they could not kill Mandela because God is in control."

Hymns, prayers

The congregation sang hymns and prayed outside the hospital before they put up a poster with their message on the wall.

The message read: "The Lord will remove your mountain, carry you and restore your soul."

Hess said the church wished Mandela a speedy recovery.

"He must rest in the Lord."

Other messages of support continue to pour in for Mandela.

Emma, 6, from Norway wrote: "I love you. Get well soon."

Passersby continued to take cellphone pictures of Mandela portraits left at the wall outside the hospital.

Police controlled access into the hospital searching every car coming in.

The Tshwane metro police closed the intersection of Celliers and Park Streets and also the intersection of Celliers and Wyland.

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