Friday Prayers for Egypt: Civil Disobedience

God,

A year ago today the revolution emerged successful. Mubarak stepped down, and the military council began leading the transition to democracy. One year later, few are actively celebrating the anniversary. There is substantial distraction from a call to escalate the revolution against the military itself.

Thank you, God, that yesterday’s protests – for the first time reaching military headquarters – ended without violence. Yet today an unknown chapter opens calling for civil disobedience. Most religious groups and standard political parties condemn it outright, or at least stay at arm’s length. Criticism reigns that it will bring chaos and demolish the nation. Yet what happens exactly, no one knows.

Some call for the non-payment of taxes. Others seek a general strike. Will the day pass quietly? Will a prolonged test of legitimacy emerge? Will either revolutionaries or infiltrators conduct sabotage?

Both the Orthodox Church and the Azhar have stated that civil disobedience violates their respective scriptures. They call on the nation instead to work even more diligently to support national recovery.

Do these groups represent you, God? The scriptures they point to seem clear enough.

Or is the effort any different from the revolution last year, which these and all institutions now celebrate wholeheartedly?

Speak to the heart of each Egyptian, God. Even if you guide them differently, guide them according to service, sacrifice, honor, and integrity.

Guide them also away from a spirit of disobedience. Even if their cause is fair, steer them to terms which rally around truth, justice, and righteousness.

Grant wisdom to the nation’s leadership. Help the military to pass this challenge while honoring their promises, honoring the people, and honoring Egypt’s sovereignty. Help clerics to study their scriptures while seeking your guidance, that they may encourage the people to do what is right. Help politicians to follow their convictions while representing the will of their constituency. Help revolutionaries to strategize astutely, to hold to account all who are in power.

Give Egypt discernment in these days, God. May she see herself truly, finding and removing her faults. May she double her virtues and all which pleases you. Keep her from passing blame on others, while rightly discovering all machinations against her.

May she celebrate all that has been accomplished this year, God. May she keep at work until the task is accomplished.

Amen.

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