Friday Prayers for Egypt: Borders, Bombs

Flag Cross Quran

God,

The bombs continue, this time striking a security directorate in the early morning hours with a blast that rattled all Cairo. Several injuries, none killed – it is a marker of taunting more than a message of death.

But from where?

There are problems at the borders, God. To the west, Libyan officials have abandoned a desert crossing. To the east, militants seized Palestinians returning to Gaza, taking four from a bus. And long a guarantor of peace, the United States is considering pulling out peacekeeping forces on the Sinai border with Israel.

How much of Egypt’s trouble is imported, God? Most of the Gaza tunnels have been destroyed. But instability still reigns in Libya, as the Arab League debates arming the internationally recognized government. Will more war bring peace, or more weapons to smuggle?

Secure the borders, God, though with Egypt’s deserts the task is formidable. Ideas have wings, but keep out the men and means of violence.

Of those already here, may they be found, disarmed, and prosecuted.

But most belong here. Egypt has long been an exporter of violent ideology. Give winning flight to better ideas.

Help men of religion to lead the charge. Help them also to stay out of the way. Religion can inspire, it can also impose.

Help Egypt find the balance. Help her craft a society of welcome and tolerance, humanity and peace.

For those tempted to radicalize where these are absent, God, give them a stronger inner core of righteousness. May they fight for justice, but transgress not.

May humility rattle the region, and decency taunt the darkness. May the borders be secure because the center is whole. A marker of encouragement, a message of life.

Amen.

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