Egypt (MNN) — Today is Day One of Ramadan and the start of what could be a trying 30 days for Egypt.
The atmosphere in much of Egypt has been tense for over 17 months. But the announcement of Mohammed Morsi as president, followed by the military's decision to dissolve parliament, have forced Egypt to the brink of civil war.
Things are shaky at best, but bigger tremors may be on the way to Egypt. During Ramadan, says Middle East expert Tom Doyle with e3 Partners, "Spiritually, it's heightened there. It's just that push for Islamic dominance, and there could be major conflict that turns into a civil war as early as this week."
Doyle just returned from Egypt earlier this week. He says zealous supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood packed Tahrir square to the breaking point. Ramadan will increase the likelihood of disagreement — if not for spiritual reasons, for physiological ones.
During Ramadan, Muslims are to fast during the day. Most drink and eat at night, but refraining from food during the day often causes emotional problems.
"We notice in Muslim countries [during Ramadan] people are much more grumpy, more jumpy, more angry. So this just kind of breeds any situation to get bigger and larger such as the situation we find ourselves in in Egypt right now," Doyle explains.
In this sense, Ramadan could mean a lot of trouble in Egypt. But at the same time, Ramadan brings with it a great deal of opportunity for believers.
In any year, throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are seeking God, says Doyle. "They are looking for something that will be life-changing. They are caught up in legalism and the law, and it is not satisfying to them. So they look for something to happen during the 30 days of Ramadan."
Within the corrupt and frightening times Egyptians currently are experiencing, people are searching even to Christ in recent months. Fed up with politics and the corruption they see in the name of Islam, many are looking for something else.
But even for those who aren't looking yet, Ramadan can change that. In the past, as believers have prayed during Ramadan, Muslims have begun to have visions and dreams of Jesus.
With this in mind, says Doyle, "As Christians, we shouldn't worry about the 30 days of Ramadan and what happens during that time. We should just be on the offensive and pray for Muslims, who have an open heart at that point. [Pray] for something to happen: a believer to share with them, for them to hear something maybe on Christian radio, or for even a dream."
It's not too late to commit to praying for Muslims during Ramadan, which lasts from July 20 to August 18. To get a free prayer guide to help you learn about and pray for the Muslim world, click here.