Prayer and protests in Egypt
A Christian Science perspective.
As the confrontation between Egyptian protesters and government forces continues, news reports offer an intriguing picture of people from many walks of life, varied religious views, and differing economic status, all joining together. They are insisting that human rights, including freedom of speech and assembly, are worth fighting for – even in the face of a government that has seemed immovable.
One man commented, “Injustice has a loud voice, but the voice of justice is even greater” (Monitor, Jan. 28). Those words might remind some people of Moses. When God called him to liberate his people from bondage, he asked, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh?” (Ex. 3:11). God reassured him, saying, “I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say” (Ex. 4:12). Under God’s guidance, Moses learned to speak with courage and strength, both to the oppressors and to his people. His “voice of justice” spoke loudly enough for him to lead his people to liberty and safety. He was able to stand courageously in the face of Pharaoh’s attacking army, and even to part the Red Sea with divine help, in order to save his people (see Ex. 14:5-29).
In our prayers for freedom, peace, and stability in Egypt and other nations in the Middle East, it’s a comfort to know that this same voice of God can speak to the individuals in authority and to those who are rising up. It’s vital to insist in prayer that all people can hear this voice, which leads in the way of peace and liberty. God, divine Truth, is continuously revealing the unfettered nature of each individual. He created each spiritual, in His likeness (see Gen. 1:26). Each is cared for by God, who is divine Love. Each is strengthened and nurtured by God, who is also divine Mind. The one God unifies individual purposes on behalf of good, and can never lead anyone to evil.
The journey to freedom isn’t always easy, however. Release from anger, revenge, hatred, and fear seldom happens all at once. But to the degree that these destructive traits can be let go, genuine progress toward permanent goodness and peace becomes possible. While intellectual and political affirmations of such progress are desirable, our prayers can claim something much deeper and more transformative.
For permanent progress, healing – through a willingness to love and forgive – is essential. This doesn’t mean going back into mental or physical bondage. Rather, it requires a willingness to see that God has a purpose for all of His people, and that transformations of spirit are possible because the God-given nature of each individual is actually good.
Greed, pride, fear, jealousy, and other un-Godlike traits may have corrupted that nature, but if the individual is able to let them go, this can unleash the good qualities that have been hidden and lead to progress for all involved. A sure guide for our prayers in support of such restoration is the knowledge that there is in reality only one divine Mind, directing and protecting all people. This Mind is all-powerful and is certainly able to reveal its good purposes to those who are seeking its guidance.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper and discovered Christian Science, wrote, “The law of the divine Mind must end human bondage, or mortals will continue unaware of man’s inalienable rights and in subjection to hopeless slavery, because some public teachers permit an ignorance of divine power, – an ignorance that is the foundation of continued bondage and of human suffering” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 227).
In our prayers for peace and freedom in Egypt and the Middle East, we can affirm the presence of this one Mind, unifying, purifying, and raising up all that is good in these nations and among their people, with healing authority and power. The voice of justice – ultimately the voice of God – truly is louder and stronger than any human movement or government could project.