Shaping the Middle East Through PrayerThe Phantom Intercessor - 17 May 2011
Praying for Peace in the New Egypt
Our 'Phantom Intercessor' in Egypt watched the developments in Tahrir Square, Cairo, with interest and optimism. Now just a few months later as news of violence and unrest hit our TV screens once again PI offers us a fresh insight into life in Egypts capital city.
Inside Tahrir, a spirit of unity sprung up, encompassing Egypt's disparate religions and fostering a sense of nationality that went deeper than belief. Encouraged by these signs, onlookers felt times were changing and dreamed of a future of freedom. Barely a few months into the 'New Egypt' sectarian violence has broken out, showing that outside of Tahrir, change might be slow in coming.
An attack on a church in an area close to Cairo last week, to release a reported convert to Islam suspected to be hidden inside, saw violence to the level that caused a crisis response from the current leadership of the country. On Saturday night a protest by Christians in the capital was broken up with shots & petrol bombs by forces antagonistic to their cause. Members of the Coptic community are fearful of a coming trend of violence as the source of it is debated - Muslim fundamentalists or the old regime causing trouble? Either way, the embryonic unity of identity, as seen in the "Muslim + Christian = Egyptian" posters everywhere, is threatening to fracture in spectacular style as the minority feels victimised once again.
This is time for us to stand in prayer with our brothers & sisters that God's will be done & His Kingdom come in this influential nation. What a witness it would be if the Christian community responded with forgiveness & faith in the God who watches out for His children, rather than returning violence with violence and reacting with fear. Pray for the attackers and forces causing these attacks to come to know the Prince of Peace as they have a Saul to Paul experience. Pray for Egypt's leaders to have wisdom to know how to handle this potentially fragmented society and for the coming leadership to not tolerate any sectarian violence. This is a crucial time for the whole of the Middle East and we can shape the outcome through prayer.
Previous blog posts from Egypt: