Friday Prayers for Egypt: Violence Spreads

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God,

Many prayers have been offered for a winnowing of Egyptian politics. Are you now beginning this process? If so, will the wheat be yet known from the chaff?

Hundreds are dead, God, spawning both outrage and apathy. Churches are burned, spawning both outrage and condescension. Many prayers have been offered for unity and consensus. Have you now turned a deaf ear to this request?

The Muslim Brotherhood is now deemed a terrorist organization; are you pleased? They say the security forces have shown their true face as bloody putchists; do you agree? How many past sins must Egypt recompense in new blood, before her slate can be wiped clean? What will the new sins require of future suffering?

Or, if the Brotherhood is to be purged, have their sins fallen on themselves, giving now a new slate? Is this your answer to prayers past?

The response of pro-Morsi protestors to the dispersal of their sit-in was to attack churches throughout the nation. But, as security prepared to clear the grounds, they failed to prepare to guard religious institutions. God, is their sin of omission, or commission?

So, if the Brotherhood is to be purged, are they offered as a scapegoat to give now a new slate? Are they – with Christians – paying the price to undo the revolution?

Was the revolution wrong in the first place? If not, was it done the wrong way?

Was the mass movement to remove Morsi wrong in the first place? If not, was it done the wrong way?

God, there are too many questions. There are too many people who hold too strongly to their answers. Perhaps they are right there are too many failing to take sides in a moment of crisis.

Oh, God, give discernment for what is right. It is wrong to stand idly by and equivocate when truth contrasts with error. But give Egyptians wisdom to see clearly through the fog of misinformation and propaganda which seeks to obscure truth and highlight error.

This is a moment of crisis, God. Lift the fog. Help the people to stand firmly with the right, and not those who claim the right – either from truth or manipulation. Those men are necessarily a mix of sincerity and slime, as are all humanity.

But how can that be done, God? A principle cannot govern; only men can. If it must be that the most sincere must prosper, then make it so. Have mercy when their failings emerge.

Have mercy on the Muslim Brotherhood. If they must pay for their sins then spare those most innocent. Even of the guilty, may their punishment redeem and not torment. But if they are enduring the sins of others to any degree, may justice prevail.

Have mercy on the government. If they are enacting justice then may their hand be only as strong as necessary. But if they are cheating to any degree, expose them to the people and may justice come.

But God, oh God, have mercy on the people. Spare Egypt more violence. And do not turn your ear forever from the request: Help them find unity and consensus for their nation.

God, from this moment forward, spread peace.

Amen.

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