Friday Prayers for Egypt

God,

Advance prayers are necessary this week, God, as a possibly crucial next stage approaches. Elections are on the horizon, but a closer hurdle looms. A proposal exists that would shape the next constitution, granting the military an influential role, while limiting the influence of the elected parliament. As Egypt never clearly defined the eventual outcome of its democratic transition, some liberals find the effort to be a belated, but necessary guidepost. Other liberals, and nearly all Islamists, find it as an effort to shift transitional authority from the people to the military, essentially undoing the result of the March referendum.

There is push and pull among all political forces, God. Surely these maintain concern both for the nation and their own interests. Yet Islamists are threatening a major demonstration against the proposal on the coming Friday. Extreme scenarios include a Tehran moment when the revolution swings religious, or a major crackdown on the Islamist movement. The greater likelihood is that neither side possesses the strength necessary to assert its will; compromises will be reached sufficient to avert any crisis. This is politics, and it is fair.

But it is also dangerous, God. Give wisdom this week to leaders on all sides. Help understanding to be reached through consensus, not raw power, and certainly not violence.

Move Egypt forward, God. Lead her to a government that reflects the will of the people. Lead the people to a will that reflects your own. Grant Egypt safe and transparent elections. Grant her a stable, effective, and representative government. Give her honest men and women who put the interests of others before their own.

Hold to account, God, all who allow the balance of own and national interests to go askew. Keep Egypt from evil. Give faith, hope, courage, and conviction to those who must stand for what is right. May these be as many as possible – the citizenry in general – even as they may disagree on its terms. Honor them, God, and grant them success.

Give grace this week, God. Extend it through elections. Protect Egypt; keep her safe as you make her strong.

Amen.

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