Friday Prayers for Egypt

God,

There was much in the way of politics this week, and it is difficult to pray for politics. Like everywhere, politics is about wrangling, rhetoric, and the promotion of good through the lens of interest. If party to a position one can ask your favor; if not, wisdom can be sought for all.

Yet unique to Egypt is the newness of the experience. Politics here is not over this or that law, or this or that policy; it is more foundational. What type of government is best? Can the political ‘opponent’ be trusted? Who represents the popular will, and who betrays it? Who represents the revolutionary will, and who betrays it?

God, who can know? So much of this politics is projected populism, built on assumptions with no case history. The issues, God, are so important; but are they also trivial? Is it good that such divisions emerge among politicians, or is the fractured unity too much to bear?

God, some wish a return to basics. They call for an end to corruption, trials for former regime members, reform in the security services, and social justice to reach the poor. These believe that politics is distracting from the real issues.

God, who can know? There was clarity during the revolution, even if vision was short-term. Now, in seeking long-term structures, clarity has dissipated.

God, you know humanity, and you know what is best. Perhaps you have designed us so that wrangling, rhetoric, and the promotion of good through the lens of interest are exactly what moves society forward.

If so, make this process transparent. Make it clean and honest. May the best man win.

But in prayer, God, we return also to basics. Bless the leaders of Egypt; give them wisdom to conduct affairs of the nation well. Give the people of this land love for one another. Establish peace; protect security. Lift up the poor from their troubles, and lead those well-off to share.

God, bless Egypt. Have mercy on her, grant her grace, so that she may be strong according to your will. May this strength inhabit all citizens, and from humility, help them serve the common good.

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