We read about a couple of "sorcery contests" between Moses and Egyptians, first turning the rods into serpents and then through the first plagues.
Some well known facts:
- Egypt was a land of idol worshipers, including Pharaoh himself. Many different views here on what exactly they worshiped (sun, Nile, rams), but the surely were idolaters.
- Egyptians were professional magicians. They did their magic with either spells or use of demons (שדים). See Rashi on place (Shmot 7,10).
- They realized very early the limits of their magic.
- There were Kohanim for idol worship (incl Itroh!) that specialized exactly in that.
- The plagues were devastating and Egyptians suffered a lot.
I couldn't find a moment, though, when they should supposedly turn to their gods to ask for some help - maybe a collective prayer, a ritual, a sacrifice - nothing.
How this was possible? Is the story missing something?