Friday Prayers for Egypt

God,

It has been a week of posturing and jockeying for position. Liberal forces either complain of election violations or summon confidence in democratic gains. Islamist forces either puff out their chests seeking authority or bow their heads to reassure the troubled vanquished. Meanwhile the military describes early results as non-representative and prepares an advisory council to work alongside the government. At odds are no less than the drafting of the constitution, so stakes are high. Yet even here it is not certain if parliament has any power at all, so stakes are low. Figuring out the difference makes for a slow boiling conflict.

Perhaps not all conflict is bad, God. May this conflict be handled well, protecting broad and inclusive interests as well as legitimate rights of majority.

But conflict can form along dangerous lines, and it appears this one forms, to a sizeable degree, upon religion. Help conflict to end in consensus, God, but religion is so easily zero-sum. Must one party win? If so, which reality will serve Egypt best? Or is religious conflict only a manufactured distraction? Does the true conflict lie elsewhere?

God, much of this is posturing, which is the less than transparent marketing of interests. Is this politics in essence? Must it be? God, give Egypt good men and women who will serve the nation before themselves. Give Egypt good men and women who serve you first and foremost, honoring your principles over dedication to their cause. Foil those who manipulate, God. Protect Egypt from all schemes; grant her true and honest self-determination.

Second stage elections come soon, God. Keep them safe; keep them pure. May they be a next step in transition, and may transition end in free, open, and transparent government. May the Egyptian people take pride in their nation and their institutions. Help all parties to remember this end goal, no matter their strivings. May even their striving be a source of pride, that it be done honestly and honorably.

God, you know what is best. Give Egypt your wisdom; her people your strength. May all be courageous to do what is right.

Amen.

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