A New Approach to Prayer

Pend OReille River in Fall

BREAKING THROUGH PROPAGANDA DELIVERED THROUGH PRAYER

A conversation between Vladimir Megré, a Russian businessman and entrepreneur, and Anastasia, a mystic living alone in the Siberian taiga forestland. Excerpts from the chapter “Three Prayers” in Volume 4 of the Ringing Cedars Series, “Co-creation”

“Anastasia, do you pray at all? Many people have requested in their letters that I ask you about this.”
“Vladimir, how do you understand the word pray?”
“What do you mean, how? Isn’t it obvious? To pray… that’s… well, to pray. Are you telling me you don’t understand the meaning of the word?”
“One and the same word can mean different things to different people, depending on how they perceive it. To be able to express myself more understandably, I asked you: What does prayer mean to you?”
“I never really thought about what it means, somehow. Anyway, there’s one principal prayer I learnt by heart and sometimes I say it – just, you know, to be on the safe side. Apparently there must be some meaning in it, if so many people say it.”
“What are you telling me? You memorized a prayer and never wanted to find out its meaning?”
“It’s not that I didn’t want to, it’s just—I never really thought about its meaning. I thought, well, everybody knows what it means, so why bother thinking? Prayer – well, that’s just like having a conversation with God.”
“But if this ‘principal prayer’ signifies a conversation with God, then tell me, how can you talk with God, your Father, without any meaning?”
“I don’t know how. What’s all the big fuss, anyway, about this meaning? No doubt the people who wrote the prayer knew what it meant.”
“But would you not like to talk with your Father on your own?”
“Of course. Everybody would like to talk with their Father on their own.”
“But how can you talk ‘on your own’ by repeating someone else’s words, especially without even thinking about what lies behind them?”
“Well, okay, I’ll give thought to the meaning at some point.”
“Why ‘at some point’? Could you not say your prayer right here and now?”
“Why not? Of course I can.”
“Then, Vladimir, say your prayer – the one you term, of all your prayers, the ‘principal’ one, the one through which you have tried to talk with the Father.”
“As a matter of fact, it’s the only one I know. And I only learnt it because it seems everybody else considers it the most important one.”
“All right. Say your prayer, and I shall keep track of your thought.”
“Okay. Listen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory
Of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
Always, now and forever. Amen.”
(Matthew 6: 9-13 KJV plus two lines translated from an old Russian version of the Lord’s Prayer.)


Anastasia sat there, her eyes lowered, without a word, with a sad expression on her face.
“Why aren’t you saying anything, Anastasia?”
“What words are you expecting to hear from me, Vladimir?”
“What do you mean, ‘what words’: I said the prayer without even a single flaw. Did you like it? You could at least say so if you did or not, but you’re not saying a word.”
“When you were saying the prayer, Vladimir, I tried to follow your thought, your feelings, the meaning of your appeal to God. I understood the meaning of the words of the prayer, but you did not understand all the words in it. Your newly budding thought was disintegrating, getting away from you, and there were absolutely no feelings. You were unable to grasp the meaning of many of the words, and you were not addressing yourself to anyone. You were simply muttering.”
“But I just said it the way everybody does. I was in church, and there they use even more incomprehensible words. I heard how other people say it. They rattle it off at top speed and that’s it! But I said it to you slowly and distinctly so you’d understand.”
“But before that you said it was a prayer addressed to God.”
“Yes, I did say that.”
“But God is our Father. He is a person. He is a living entity. The Father is capable of feeling and understanding, when normal communication is initiated. But you…”
“What about me? I’m telling you, that’s the way they all say it when they address God.”
“Imagine your daughter Polina is standing before you and all at once she starts talking in a monotone and slips into her sentences words she does not even understand herself. Would you as a father be pleased by her talking to you in such a way?”
I could picture the situation quite clearly, and began to feel downright uncomfortable at the prospect. Here was my daughter standing in front of me, muttering something like a half-crazed person, not even knowing what she wanted.
“You know, it’s probably not a full and accurate translation. That’s why my thought got lost, as you say.”
“Vladimir, the meaning can be understood even from this translation. Of course it contains words that are not used any longer in everyday speech. But the sense is clear when you ponder it and decide what is the most important thing of all for you and what is the most pleasing for the Father. What is it you wish to say in uttering this prayerful message addressed to the Father?”
“Well, whatever the words say, that’s probably what I want to say, too. I want Him to give me bread to eat, to forgive my sins and debts, to not lead me into temptation and deliver me from evil. It’s all clearly set out there.”
“Vladimir, God provided food for His sons and daughters even before they were born. Look around you – everything has long ago been provided for you. A loving parent forgives everyone their sins without being asked, and does not even think of leading anyone into temptation. The Father has given each one the capacity to withstand the wiles of evil. Why offend the Father by not realizing what He has already provided a long time ago? His eternal gifts are all around you. What more can this loving Parent give, who has already given all to His child?”
“And what if there’s something missing?”
“God gives to the utmost. He has provided everything for His sons and daughters right from the beginning. Everything! Completely! As a parent who loves His child unconditionally, He can think of no greater good for Himself than the joy which comes from the joyful existence of His children. His own sons and daughters.
“Tell me, Vladimir: How might the Father feel, after giving His children everything right from the beginning and seeing them appear before Him, constantly pleading ’More, more! Keep us, save us, we are all helpless, we are all as nothing’? Please, answer me. Would you as a parent, or any of your friends, wish to have children like that?”
“I can’t give you an answer right off. I’ll work it out on my own, when I have a quiet moment.”
“Yes, yes, of course, fine, Vladimir. Only when you do find the time, think about what the Father would like to hear from you, apart from your requests.”
“You mean, God might also want something of us? What?”
“What any parent would wish to hear from his children.”
“Tell me, Anastasia, do you yourself ever turn to God in prayer?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Then tell me your prayer.”
“I cannot say my prayer to you, Vladimir. My prayer is destined for God.”
“All right, talk to God then. I can still hear it.”
Anastasia rose, spread out her arms, turned her back to me and began speaking some words. The way she spoke these words was not the way we say prayers. She spoke them the way anyone might talk to a close friend or a loved one. Her speech contained all the intonations of a live conversation. Passion, joy, fervent ecstasy -- as though the One Anastasia was talking to was right there beside her:

My Father, You are present everywhere!
For the light of life I gladly thank You,
For Your bright kingdom visible here and now,
And for Your loving will. Long live the good!
For daily bread and daily food with joy I thank You!
And for your loving patience,
And for Your giving of forgiveness of sins on Your Earth fair.
My Father, You are present everywhere!

I am Your daughter here midst Your creations.
Weakness and sin – I shall not let them in,
But prove myself worthy of your consummations.

My Father, You are present everywhere!
I am Your daughter, Your joy I declare.
My entire self shall magnify Your glory,
In Your bright dream the coming ages all will live and share.
It shall be so! I wish it so! I am a daughter of Yours.
My Father, You are present everywhere!


“You said that as though Someone was standing beside you who could answer it.”
Vladimir, God, our Father, also speaks to everyone with a request, and answers every prayer.”
“Then why doesn’t anyone understand His words?”
“Words? The peoples of the Earth have so many words with different meanings. There are so many diverse languages and dialects. And yet there is one language for all. One language for all Divine callings. It is woven together out of the rustlings of the leaves, the songs of the birds and the roar of the waves. The Divine language has fragrance and color. Through this language God responds to each one’s request and gives a prayerful response to prayer.”
“Could you translate, or express in words, what He says to us?”
I could give you an approximation.”
“Why just an approximation?”
“Because our language is much too poor to be compatible with the language God speaks to us in.”
“Never mind, just tell me any way you can.”
Anastasia looked at me, stretched her arms out in front of her, and her voice came forth in chest tones:

My son! My own dear son!
How long I have been waiting. I am still waiting.
A minute holds a hundred years, a moment lasts millennia.
I am waiting.
I have given you all. The Earth is all yours.
You are free in everything. You shall choose your own path.
All that I ask, My son, My own dear son,
Is that you be Happy.
You do not see Me.
You do not hear Me.
In your mind are doubts and sorrows.
You are turning away. Where to?
You are yearning for something. What for?
And you are bowing to someone.
I stretch out my hands to you.
My son, My own dear son,
Be happy, I ask of you.
Again you are going away. But your road leads to nowhere.
On this road the Earth will explode.
You are free in everything, and the world is exploding
And tearing your destiny apart.
You are free in everything, but I shall stand My ground.
I shall restore you to life with the last blade of grass.
And once more the world will shine around.
Only be happy, I ask.
On the faces of saints a deep sorrow swells.
You are frightened by judgement and hell.
They tell you that I shall send judges.
But I only pray for that time, as before
When you and I are together once more.
I believe you will return.
I know you will come.
I shall embrace you once more.
Not as a stepfather! Not as a stepfather! I am yours!
I am your Abba, your Father, the only One,
And you are My very own son, My own dear son,
We shall be happy together as one!