Friday Prayers for Egypt: Waiting on Sisi

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January 25 has come and gone, giving the now familiar images from all sides. Another massive gathering has celebrated General Sisi, while several smaller gatherings lambaste him. His posters are placed everywhere, and some have now been defaced. A festive, expectant atmosphere presides among his supporters, while arrests and deaths continue among those dedicated against him.

But he has not yet declared for president.

By all estimations he is close. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces declared he had a ‘mandate’ and an ‘obligation’ to run. They yield this to the choice of the people, and the constitution dictates election procedures can begin as early as mid-February. But it also permits a delay until mid-April, so Sisi can afford to take his time.

God, give him wisdom. Only you know if the waiting is due to calculation or hesitancy, but either are possible. Whether shrewdly maximizing popular anticipation or cautiously fretting over popular expectations, Sisi is in need of discernment.

Give him first and foremost a sense of duty and public service. Where ambition exists, may it only be healthy. But help him to see if his candidacy will help or harm the nation.

God, give courage to his rivals, whoever they will be. The prayer above is for them as well, but they are operating from a much less enviable position. They will have to stand against an impassioned tide, subjecting themselves to intense pressure and scrutiny.

Where men of vision and principle exist, have the public test them thoroughly. Ensure that competition is beneficial to Egypt.

God, give understanding to his adversaries. Help them carry on in righteousness and determination, but conscious of the harm they bring into existence. Whether this is their fault or not, have the people and law evaluate their cause. Purify, redeem, and reconcile, while casting any dross asunder.

And God, above all, give patience to the people. Much has been asked of them these past three years, much of their effort has been squandered. At the proper time, have them elect the president of your choice, one who will do right for Egypt.

May their long wait be not in vain.


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