Thousands of protesters turned out across Egypt last week after President Mohamed Morsi declared the constitution-writing process immune from judicial review. Morsi rescinded those decisions Sunday night, but did not agree to delay a referendum on a new constitution scheduled for Saturday. The constitution was completed less than two weeks ago, and most secular and Christian members had resigned in protest from the committee tasked with writing the document.
Those interested in a stable, fair, and free future for Egypt can remember that God’s guidance transcends national and religious boundaries. As we pray to witness God’s will being done in Egypt, we can remember that this will includes no element of exclusion, selfishness, or subjugation. We can expect to see human government reflecting divine government, which is fair, just, and loving.
When former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak left office in the wake of the “Arab Spring” protests early in 2011, the Christian Science Sentinel published an article titled “A spiritual view of Egypt in transition.” That article points out that God’s nature includes genuine, illimitable spiritual freedom — and that humanity reflects this freedom. A political revolution can’t create spiritual freedom, but to the extent that it helps uncover this native freedom we can celebrate it as a step forward. The same is true today: we can support those tendencies toward freedom and honesty, and recognize the illegitimacy of any mental tendency to limit these qualities.
These ideas are further developed in “Trustworthy government — present now,” which suggests that we can take our cues from the Bible as we pray to see God-governed progress in Egypt and other countries “wrestling with different visions of government.” Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we can find accounts of God leading people out of oppression and danger — including delivering the Children of Israel from Egypt (Exodus chapters 3-12) and freeing Paul and Silas from prison (Acts 16:25-40).
Prayer can be a real difference-maker in Egypt, and around the world. Because God isn’t limited by geographic boundaries, our prayers to acknowledge and celebrate His loving guidance can be felt wherever they’re needed. We don’t need to pray for specific political outcomes, but we can insist that God’s government includes only elements of honesty and integrity.