Bless the Copts. Bless their churches. Bless their leaders. Bless their reformers. Bless those with whom they rub shoulders every day.
Give wisdom to the Copts, God. Their leaders were slow to join the revolution; many of their youth rushed headlong. Now they face more challenges. Should they stay with the revolution and agitate against the military, or trust it against the Islamists? What if the military and Islamists are together, as many Copts fear? Is there further justice for which to call, or simple political reality with which to accommodate? Should the church carry the mantle of defending the Coptic community, or stay silent and allow Copts themselves to carry this charge as citizens?
May answers to these questions come from you, God. Give the Copts all necessary political acumen and courage, but may their decisions spring from the virtues and principles of their faith.
Help Copts to support the powers-that-be and pray for them. Help them to identify justice and demand it prophetically.
Help Copts to embrace all of their social and national responsibilities. Help them to enter their churches and pray corporately, as well as their closets and pray secretly, all in reliance on you.
Help Copts to give liberally of their wealth to help the poor of Egypt, both theirs and others. Help them to give liberally to the church, to maintain all necessary places of worship.
Help Copts to create strong relationships with their neighbors and live with them in peace and respect. Help them to live their faith among them, that its goodness might also be known and appreciated.
Help Copts to maintain their unity, when some lean in one direction on these questions, and others in the opposite.
Bless this community, God. Through them and for them, bless Egypt. Yet may they bear your ideal of seeking her interests before their own. May they bear your ideal of sacrifice for the greater good. May they recognize their kingdom is not of this world, while their residence and place of service is beloved Egypt.
May they consider her beloved, and treat her accordingly. Preserve them both, for your great glory.
Note: Today’s prayer was written before news of the death of Pope Shenouda, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Certainly prayers for the community are needed even more urgently at this time.