Sometimes it is hard to pray for Egypt.
Every Friday I seek to semi-summarize events of the week and reflect on what God would desire as Egypt’s best. This becomes harder because I don’t want these to be my prayers, but something all Egyptians – Muslims and Christians, of all political stripes – can pray together.
As such, it is often reduced to the triumph of principles, the application of which might be stridently debated among those who would jointly call for justice, freedom, and the like.
I suppose this has been the plague of post-revolutionary Egypt. Still, we should not stop praying, nor should Egyptians stop seeking joint solutions beyond the principles. Too many seem ready to accept their desired solution be imposed upon their opponents.
Yes, it is hard. How can right and wrong be compromised? How can completely divergent perspectives come together?
As a result, my prayers get repetitive, and often are reduced to the posing of questions. I, myself, generally don’t know how to answer them. Inasmuch as Egyptians differ over the answers, the best we can hope for is that God will sort it out – preferably through some sort of consensus.
But can we rejoice in the triumph of one side of a dichotomy: Morsi vs. Sisi, legitimacy vs. coup, Islamism vs. liberalism, extremism vs. democracy?
After all, if God is sovereign over the promotion of kings and the deposing thereof, he is not above using the deceitful wiles of man to establish his righteous will.
But as the sides have changed so frequently, how can any have confidence God’s will is behind it all, beyond simple theological assertion?
Is he winnowing Egypt? Is he punishing her? Will one set of partisans triumph in the end after he brings them through tribulation?
I wish I had the discernment and wisdom I ask him to give the good people of Egypt. May they soon have a nation to match all of his principles, whatever that must look like.
In the meanwhile, I am glad to share this video prayer offered by an Egyptian, which wrangles over similar issues. Like mine, it is comprised more of questions than anything else. It combines images of triumph from the continuing revolution with images of its tragedy. It is moving and sobering.
It is also a prayer. Please pray along with them, and may God’s will be done. As it both opens and closes: Deliver us…