Friday Prayers for Egypt

God,

My sour, heavy feelings returned this week. They were last suffered during the days of revolution, but resurfaced after over a thousand people were injured in clashes with the police. There appears to be good evidence of manipulation, but the protests were largely spontaneous, as they touched those most pure in the whole process: the families of the martyred revolutionary youth.

God, these cry out for justice, but when should it come? Does the delay in prosecuting officers who killed their children stem from a commitment to due process, or a lack of will? Give them patience, and increase their courage. Help their demands to be issued from a heart of forgiveness. Cleanse them from any hatred, however justified. Protect them from becoming pawns; enable them to become beacons. May these be the models upon which you build a new society.

God, many revolutionaries rushed to their defense – did they do so wisely? These are still largely leaderless, capable of being swayed by rumors. Honor their zeal, God, but give them wisdom. So many conspiracies abound, and so much is at stake. These desire the good of Egypt, but cannot represent the whole of the people. Yet in the chaos that ensues, some, perhaps many, turn against them.

Keep them pure in heart, God. Those others may manipulate and compromise, their only strength is moral. Help them not to lose this, nor their faith in the goodness of others, even if they find it wanting. May they love their fellow citizens, even those they believe are against them. May their heart not be hardened, even as their will stays sharp.

God, bless the police who inflicted these injuries. They must be very confused; given a free hand in the past, how must they behave now? What can be done when under attack? Their conduct is the result of training, however faulty. They carry out the orders of those believed by revolutionaries to be corrupt. Who can blame them for choosing the side they do, when all is not clear?

Give them clarity, God. Give them respect for law, citizenry, and authority. Give them patience in the face of hatred from the people. Have them confess their sins, but carry out the sanctity of their position. They represent order, God, and you are a God of order. May this be reestablished in Egypt, for the safety of all, police included.

God, bless the leadership of this nation. Having earlier been heralded, some are now criticizing, even impugning their intensions. It is the way of the army to lack transparency; but it is the way of leadership to disclose your heart. This tension cannot be easy for them. The task at hand is too great for any to bear.

May it be borne by all, God. Grant the leaders wisdom. There are conspiracies; there are manipulations. There are pressures and inducements and all manner of interests to balance. Help them to shape Egypt for her best future. Help them to rebuild what was broken in the revolution, and what decayed over the decades. Keep them, God, on the right path, no matter the temptations they must face. We lack knowledge of this path, God, while many assume they know it well. Give them of your perspective, God, and help them to lead well.

In the midst of all this, God, instances of religious tension reemerged also. Give the people love one to the other, God. May each find that which is best in his religion, and treat others as they would wish to be treated. Let not the people be divided needlessly.

God, when times are trying, help each to look inside himself, and be committed to the best of his nature. Help each to look to you, and be committed to the principles which lead to peace. God, protect Egypt; honor her people. Do not repay her according to her sins, but be merciful and gracious. To such a great extent, God, you have. Do not withdraw your favor, we ask you humbly. Bless Egypt, God, and may you be praised.

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