Friday Prayers for Egypt

God,

Where is Egypt these days? What does the landscape suggest? Tunisia just completed successful elections, for which thanks is given. May Egypt soon do the same, for which support is asked. Is Egypt on the same path? Can she come to consensus?

This month may be telling, God. Legislative elections are scheduled for the end of November. Though fears abound for postponement, there is nothing definitive to suggest it. Candidacies have been received across the nation, alliances have formed, broken, and repositioned, and the nation even entertains the question of Egyptians voting abroad. Signs are good, though competition may be fierce.

How fierce, God? In the past violence at the polling station was near commonplace, when little was at stake. Now, the winners will have the greatest share in writing the new constitution. Either from parties seeking their interest, or others seeking sabotage, might violence increase this year? God, may it not be so. May the workers of evil be held in check.

Other signs are worrisome, too. Certainly the police must have a large share in keeping security. Yet this last week has witnessed sustained protests from low ranking police officers, demanding the reform of their own organization. They even threaten to leave elections unguarded if their plea is ignored. Meanwhile, there are infrequent allegations of abuse and corruption from inside the security agencies. Is the police force stable enough to keep the peace? If not, is the army capable of doing the job? Can the people be counted on to secure elections themselves?

In the instability present, some people have sought to secure themselves first and foremost. Lower class residents of a certain area have stormed an unfinished public housing sector, appropriating the location for themselves. Even if their cause is just, the nation can ill handle the masses taking justice into their own hands. Yet with so many focused on bread, do they have the will to focus on elections?

God, the task before the police is difficult. Given so much rein to flaunt the law, how can they learn to maintain control otherwise? And surely, some will not be keen to reform and abide by the law. Yet for the honest and decent policemen, their profession is held in such contempt as to invite violence on themselves. Much mercy is needed, God. Visit the police stations across the country, and redeem them. On January 28, they received rebuke and destruction. Now, they need healing from the hand of a tough love. Supply the people necessary to achieve this, God, but supervise the process and bring it to completion. Egypt is in need.

Similarly, God, Egyptians are in need. The revolution cannot solve every problem quickly, and perhaps it has multiplied others. Held back by oppression, the people carried on nobly. Now, though it feels unjust to ask, may they hold themselves back by patriotism, and carry on nobly for the nation. Their causes will be aided by just governance, which depends on elections and the formation of a new polity. Bless the people, God; grant them peace and stability. Fill their stomachs, find them jobs, and give them a will to determine the path of their nation.

God, give wisdom to all to know what is required of them. May some protest, and others rebuke them. May some politic, and others remain uncompromising. Take it all, God, and bless it. Create from it the mechanisms of governance, in a functioning civil society. Within this month, and afterwards, may people find the way you intend. May it be for the good of all.

Amen.

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