Updated 7/3/2013. Next update will be on Monday, July 8.
In 2011, one of the highest-profile results of the “Arab Spring” was that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who’d been in power 30 years, stepped down and the country’s provisional government promised democratic reforms. Two years later, the streets of Egypt once again filled with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, many of whom called for the resignation of President Mohammed Morsi amid a weak economy and worsening security. On Wednesday afternoon, the Egyptian military intervened, informing Morsi that he was no longer the head of state. As of Wednesday afternoon, the country’s constitution had been suspended and the military planned to convene religious and civil leaders to work out a “roadmap” for political transition.
Precarious as a political situation may be, it isn’t beyond the reach of our prayers, because God’s government — which defends universal dignity and upholds safety — is available to all. This reality is capable of being realized in Egypt and elsewhere.
“Winds of change that can bless — in the Middle East,” written shortly after President Mubarak resigned in 2011, discusses how “spiritual idealism” can help Egypt and other countries — not in the sense of supporting or opposing regime change, but recognizing that an all-good God is in control, and that His creation reflects Him without weakness or fear. Liberty and freedom are spiritual concepts, the author contends, and as such they can’t be taken away or restored by governments or protests. Yet as we pray to better understand these concepts, we can expect to see them more fully expressed through honest government and laws that respect human dignity.
“Peace in the Middle East: what your prayers can do” further explores this line of reasoning. God can’t be deprived of His creation — which includes all men and women — and in our prayers we can insist that one Mind governs demonstrators, observers, and government officials alike. God shows us the way out of fear, separation, political disagreement, and violence, and as we turn to His direction we’ll see apparently disparate interests united.