Friday Prayers for Egypt: Constituent Assembly and Power Struggles

God,

Perhaps it can be no other way. But it does not seem right.

Parliament has chosen the 100 members necessary to draft Egypt’s constitution, but before any progress is made, near 20% have resigned. These are liberals and leftists together, complaining the assembly is dominated by Islamists.

Others have put in their protest as well, including the Azhar, the Coptic Church, and Nubians. Certain professional associations have done so also.

Is this right of them, God? Should they quit before discussions even begin? Must they play such politics – seeking de-legitimization of the body – to curb an Islamist hijacking of the chief fruit of the revolution? Or are they seeking simply to enshrine their goals over and against the majority will of the people? Are they fighting for principles, or for interests? The same question is due of the Islamists.

Consensus, God. Bring honest men together to find the necessary balance. May they create a constitution that causes the nation to rejoice.

Of course, many argue the foundation is all wrong to begin with. But if so, must the process start over? What are the alternatives?

Lost in details, accusations, and propaganda, God, grant the basics. Give Egypt a good government, and a good president. Give her good laws to rule by, and good men to enforce them. Give her freedom, security, and prosperity.

Perhaps, God, very little of this is politics. After a revolution in a depoliticized nation, all is a struggle for the right of control. The old scrambles, the new grasps, and among the new there is infighting.

God, settle accounts. Is military guardianship, even if in the background, best for Egypt? If so then give them their due. Is Islamist rule fitting for a religious people? If so then may their long struggle end in success. Will the honored principles of Western experience bless Egypt? If so, then move liberals to the forefront.

But God, end soon the bickering, the backbiting, the threats, bluffs, and demonization. Men are devils, God, yet they maintain your goodness. Give discernment to the Egyptian people to choose between them, honoring those closest to your nature.

May they remember also to thank you, God, that this struggle has largely avoided violence. Yes, many have died – redeem them. But it could be so much worse. With low security and many weapons abounding, God, keep it from becoming so. Stay the plague of the Nile turning into blood.

Give hope. Give peace. Give love for country and love for political enemy. Perhaps what is happening now is natural. God, bring forth the impossible. Make Egypt whole, make its disputants embrace.

Thank you for all you have accomplished so far.

Amen.

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