Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu
of Cape Town, South Africa, sent a message of Thanksgiving to Christians throughout the world in a sermon
preached at the Washington DC Cathedral in the United States in 1984. He
expressed deep gratitude for their prayers for his suffering people, victims of
Sometimes you may not
feel like praying because your prayers are insipid. There is a dryness, and God
seems miles and miles away. But because you are faithful, you say to God, "I
want to pray, and 1 offer you these 30 minutes, God, even if it means fighting
these awkward distractions for a "few minutes."
And because you are so
faithful, someone in South Africa suddenly receives an excess of grace;
inexplicably, it appears. Perhaps he is in a solitary-confinement cell;
perhaps he is being tortured. And instead of being hate-filled and embittered,
he is able to say in his heart, "These are God’s children, and they are behaving
like animals. They need us to help them recover the humanity they have lost."
How is that possible
unless you have prayed him into that state of grace?
Archbishop Tutu was not simply thanking people who "remembered South Africa in
their prayers," though these were included in his statement. He was also making
a deeper connection between the personal prayer of believers throughout the
world and the gifts of grace bestowed in South Africa. He was thanking not only
those who consciously remembered South Africa, but all who were faithful to