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Friday Prayers for Egypt: Exceptions

Flag Cross Quran

God,

No matter the policy or pattern of behavior, life is unique. Each person is responsible for his or her own actions, no matter the repercussions on all.

But all actions have consequences, determine policies, and establish patterns. Help Egypt navigate through the exception and the general…

… as the Coptic pope visits Jerusalem in violation of a decades old decision.

… as the president promises to discipline policemen who have tortured and killed citizens.

… as a local bar fight explodes and kills sixteen.

… as a local woman somewhere gives birth to the 98 millionth Egyptian.

Each incident, God, is of exceptional importance. Yet each one begs meaning larger than itself. Help Egypt assign it correctly.

The pope went to attend a funeral and says the visit carries no change in commitment to Palestine.

The president assures of the importance of good conduct and insists violations are isolated.

For all their bravado, Egyptians rarely fight and this tragedy bears no marks of terrorism.

For all their uniqueness, that is a lot of Egyptians along an overpopulated stretch of river.

Each meaning, God, is fiercely contested. Yet each one begs a further prayer. Help Egypt look to you and not to punditry.

Give Egypt peace with an Israel that conforms to your righteousness. May Copts and Muslims together take pilgrimage hand in hand.

Give Egypt confidence in a police force that acts with complete professionalism. May old patterns be overturned and your justice enforced.

Give Egypt respite from more tales of woe. May all personal conduct be governed by your mercy and all terrorism cease.

Give Egypt sufficient prosperity to receive and accommodate her many millions. May each one experience your particular grace.

God, for all Egypt has experienced in history many believe she is an exceptional recipient of your protection and favor. May this be true, but not particular. Similarly guard each nation of the region, with many now so deeply in need.

Settle the issues of societal reach, but not at the expense of the individual. Honor the uniqueness of every Egyptian, but not at the expense of society. Keep Egypt in balance, reestablish her harmony.

May policy and personhood meet, and may it not be exceptional. Bless Egypt, God, and make her whole.

Amen.