Friday Prayers for Egypt: Anniversary

God,

Prayers are one day late this week, but maybe it is for the better. One year ago today the nation descended in numbers, overwhelming police, and reached Tahrir Square. Remembering this day brings joy and sorrow, pride and remorse, hope and frustration. It was a day of courage, a day of conviction, a day of confusion, a day of crime. It changed so much, yet not all has changed. It was a privilege to be here. It is a privilege to continue.

Comfort Egypt, God, over those who died that day, and in subsequent protests. Bring justice to those responsible; issue forgiveness from bitter hearts. Convict those who transgressed and sought violence and chaos; rebuke those who took justice into their own hands. Honor the memory of this day, God, but allow no myths to obscure. The people made a mighty movement, but not all was right or good.

Yet so much was, God. And much of what was right or good is under question today. Unity has been replaced by suspicion; commonality with peculiarity of interest. Some groups took the day to celebrate, others to deny a reason for it. By the end these were at each others’ throats.

One year has passed, God. Are you pleased? Have the people reaped the reward of their sins, or the fruit of their virtues? Is it mixed? Is more struggle necessary, or more patience? Is one party in the right, deserving support? Have all compromised and manipulated, deserving judgment? Give grace to each and every individual, God, to find his or her way. Group these together, God, to form a path. Multiply them, to draw a map, even as its routes diverge.

Yet let this map be Egypt; its backbone the Nile. Grant wisdom to the military; may they govern justly and honor their promises. Grant consensus to the parliament; may they honor the people and fulfill their trust. Grant tenacity to the protestors; may they hold all accountable yet not neglect love and mercy.

God, honor the revolution. Protect Egypt in difficult times. Purify the hearts of its leaders at all levels; purify those who follow them. Give the nation humility and introspection; test her and reveal any wickedness. Restore the joy of her accomplishments; lead her in your way of righteousness. Make Egypt a beacon, God; her people an example. May they love each other. May they rejoice and be glad.

Amen.

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