Friday Prayers for Egypt: Return to Roots

Flag Cross Quran

God,

Egypt strives to be a good neighbor. She was once also a good host. What future does she desire?

What do you?

Over the past many months Egypt has cultivated its relationship with the Mediterranean nations of Greece and Cyprus. The have a sea to share, natural gas to protect, and economies to integrate.

They have similar vision for their region.

But this week they recalled their past. Egypt invited the two presidents to ‘Nostos,’ which in Greek means ‘return to roots.’ Thousands of Greeks and Cypriots used to live in Egypt, Alexandria in particular.

There are far fewer today. ‘Egypt for the Egyptians’ discouraged their welcome; over time, so did declining economy.

But Nostos celebrated their heritage, and invited their families back for a visit.

Their churches still function. The monastery at Mt. Sinai is theirs. Egypt is still much Mediterranean.

It is a beautiful neighborly gesture. But is it an openness for return?

God, bless Egypt in her hospitality. She is still a good host. African and Syrian refugees in the thousands call her home – at least temporarily. They live, work, and are part of society.

Guide her also in wisdom. Egypt is for the Egyptians. But Greeks and Cypriots – and Italians, and Armenians, and Turks – were also Egyptian. Many still are.

God, if you prosper Egypt, perhaps more will seek her. Wealth often extends welcome.

But the reverse is also often true. Welcome brings material reward.

God, what of the spiritual? Does multiculturalism dilute authenticity? Does a mix of religions tepid them all? Does culture thrive? Do values change?

Alexandria is now known as a city conservative in its Islam. Yet Christians have their historic see.

May all believers be faithful. May all neighbors be kind. May all nations be friendly.

You determine the exact times and places for all peoples to live.

Honor Egypt for celebrating her past. Direct Egypt in treading her present. Bless Egypt in shaping her future.

Many do well in returning to roots. But from where there is strength, spread wide the branches. Allow the birds of the air to rest in their shade.

Uproot the evil, God. Root deep the good.

Amen.

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