the Ringing cedars of Russia
Vladimir Megre English translation by John Woodsworth

Book 4. Co-creation (1999)

Three prayers


“There you go talking about God, Anastasia, but how do you pray? Or 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? Tou memorised 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?”

At first I felt a little irritated at Anastasia’s pickiness regarding the meaning of the prayer I had learnt, but then I got interested myself in determining what it meant. For the thought was coming to me all by itself: Flow did this happen? I had learnt a prayer which I repeated on a number of occasions, but never really thought about what was in the prayer. I thought how interesting it would be to find this out, since I had memorised it. And I said aloud to Anastasia:

“Well, okay, I’ll give thought to the meaning at some point.”

But she persisted:

“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.”

I said the Lord’s Prayer to Anastasia, which, you may remember, goes like this:

Our Father which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give as 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 for ever. Amen.

I stopped speaking and looked at Anastasia. But she was sitting there, just as silently, her eyes lowered, not looking at me. She just sat there without a word, with a sad expression on her face, until I couldn’t take it any longer and asked her: “Why aren’t you saying anything, Anastasia?”

Without raising her head, she enquired:

“What words are you expecting to hear from me, Vladimir?”

“What d’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? Fm 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 knowing what she wanted even.

So I came to a decision: No, I had to make conscious sense of my prayer. I can’t just rattle off meaningless words. Otherwise I would appear to God like some half-crazed idiot. If someone wants to mutter it, they can go ahead. As for me, I shall definitely make the effort to understand this whole prayer. I only have to find some place to look up the meaning of unfamiliar words. And why do they speak in some unknown language in church? Aloud I said to Anastasia:

“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 realising 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,” came her reply.

“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 uttering some words. Ordinary words one might hear in a prayer, but... something within me all at once began to tremble. 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, a loved one, a relative. 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, Той are present everywhere!

For the light of life I gladly thank Той,

For Tour bright kingdom visible here and now,

And for Tour loving will. Long live the good!

For daily bread and daily food with joy I thank Той!

And for your loving patience,

And for Tour giving of forgiveness of sins on Tour Earth fair.

My Father, Той are present everywhere!

I am Tour daughter here midst Tour creations.

Weakness and sin — I shall not let them in,

But prove myself worthy of Tour consummations.

My Father, Той are present everywhere!

I am Tour daughter, Tour joy l declare.

My entire self shall magnify Tour glory,

In Tour bright dream the coming ages all will live and share.

It shall be so! I wish it so! I am a daughter of Tours.

My Father, Той are present everywhere.

Anastasia ended her prayer. She continued to communicate with everything around her. It seemed as though she were sur-rounded by a radiant light. During the prayer, as long as she was near me, something invisible happened all around. And whatever it was touched me too. It wasn’t an outward touch, but an inner one. It made me feel good, feel comforted. But as Anastasia drew away, this effect faded, and I called after her: “You said the prayer as though Someone was standing beside you who could answer it.”

Anastasia turned toward me, her face beaming. She spread out her arms, spun around, smiling, and then, giving me a serious look in the eye, said:

“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 colour. 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 — 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.

Той are free in everything. Той shall choose your own path. All that I ask, My son, My own dear son,

Is that you be happy.

Той do not see Me.

Той do not hear Me.

In your mind are doubts and sorrows.

Той are turning away. Whereto?

Ton are yearningfor 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.

Той are free in everything and the world is exploding And tearing your destiny apart.

Ton 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.

Той 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,1 the only One,

And you are My very own son, My own dearson,

We shall be happy together as one!

After Anastasia stopped speaking, it took me a while to recover my composure. Even though it seemed that I was continuing to listen to all the sounds around me, perhaps I was really listening to how my blood was rushing through my veins at an extraordinary tempo. What had I understood? I cannot understand, even to this day

Through this fervent interpretation, Anastasia had just set forth God’s prayer to Man. Whether the words were true or not, who can say? And who can say why they arouse such strong emotions? And what am I doing at the moment? I am letting my pen run across the page in conscious excitement — or maybe not so conscious... Am I going out of my mind? Am I mixing up her words with those the bards now sing in her name? Anything’s possible. Perhaps those that read this will understand. And I shall try to understand once I have finished writing. And I am writing again. But again, just as back there in the forest, as though penetrating a curtain, occasionally lines from those prayers I heard back in the 2Abba, Father — see Mark 14:36: ‘And he (Jesus] said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee” (Authorised King James Version).

taiga will suddenly appear. And again the question arises — a difficult question, which continues to torment me to this day, through scenes from our lives and ponderings. A question I’m afraid to try to answer, even to myself. But it is not one I can keep back any longer just within myself. Perhaps someone will come up with a convincing answer?!

Prayer! That prayer of Anastasia’s! Just words! The words of a taiga recluse, an uneducated recluse, with her own unique way of thinking and her own unique lifestyle. Just words. But for some reason every time I hear them, the veins on my writing hand puff up and the blood pulsates through them more quickly It pulsates, counting off the seconds in which each of us must decide what is best for ourselves, and how to continue to live. Should we be asking a kind Father to save, give, provide? Or alternatively, confidently and from the heart, suddenly declare, just as she did:

My Father, Той are present everywhere!

Weakness and sin — I shall not let them in,

I am Tour son, Tour joy I declare.

My entire self shall magnify Tour glory...

Which prayer will have the most pleasant meaning for Him? What should I do, or what should we all together do? Which way should we go?

My Father, Той are present everywhere!

Weakness and sin — I shall not let them in...

But where does one get the courage to speak like that? And to carry it out once the prayer’s been said?



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