Friday Prayers for Egypt: Constitution Presented

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You never spare man from difficult choices, but you always prepare a way out. Help Egypt to find it.

Months of wrangling over the constitution ended this week as majority Islamist members of the assembly brought a final text to vote. Without boycotting liberal and Christian parties, it passed easily, and would have even if they were there.

Against this backdrop are the promises of the president to rescind his declaration granting himself immunity from judicial review, once the constitution is passed.

Of course, God, for many in Egypt, perhaps even most, there is not even a choice here. But these see the issue in wildly different manner.

For those completely pleased with the president and the constitution, God, challenge their way of thinking. Do they permit defying the law because the president is of their line of thinking? Do they play with words, granting freedom and human rights in one article and limiting them in another? Do they wish to use the state as decisively as it was once used against them – to shape society according to a particular vision? God, have mercy, forgive, and restore.

For those completely opposed to the president and the constitution, God, challenge their way of thinking. Do they wish Egypt to falter endlessly in transition? Is this the strategy to defeat the president? Do they disdain the common person so that they dare not let the constitution come to a vote? Do they wish to keep religion from the public square? God, have mercy, forgive, and restore.

But perhaps there is not equality in wrongs, God. Support those whose aims for Egypt are pure in heart. Expose those who manipulate, even for worthy ends.

And where these ends are worthy – on all sides, God – honor them. Help Egypt achieve an end to its revolutionary struggles. Help her to have a constitution of consensus. Give leaders determination to take hard decisions against entrenched interests. Give them determination to always do so according to the right.

God, all in Egypt need your wisdom in these days. Save her from chaos; save her from authoritarianism. Bridge the divide between those who define these so differently. May they find this salvation in each other.

Bring the nation’s suffering to an end, God. Restore to her the joy of salvation.


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