By Anna Von Reitz
Yesterday, I had to sever a relationship with my home church, Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Taken together with the loss of my dog this Sunday past, it just about broke my heart.
Our lives are such simple things, so dependent on relationships, and we all have such a deep need for "belonging" --- and in the case of our pets, "belonging to" --- that our lives become defined and find their meaning in relationship to other lives.
There are times like this, times of loss and of grief, of bitter disappointment and uncertainty, when we look for reasons and find only facts. And the facts aren't comforting.
I remember someone in a book or short story somewhere saying that it felt like all their prayers were going to a dead letter box.
Given all the deceit that we have uncovered in both government and religion, it's worth thinking about. Have our prayers been re-routed? Sent to a "dead letter box"? Misaddressed somehow?
Let's begin with the correct name.
The man we all call "Jesus" and "Christ" was actually named Yeshuah (also transliterated as "Yashuah") and is properly translated in English as the name Joshua. Not Jesus.
But we are all taught to pray "in Jesus Name".
Or in the name of "Christ Jesus" which is even worse.
Doesn't make much sense, does it? A strong whiff of rat pervades the atmosphere.
Why teach people to pray using a wrong name? Why substitute titles like "Christ" for names, and names for titles? Why invoke the name of a Person, "Christ", instead of the actual name of the man?
We start out with "Guilleroi" and wind up with "Mr. Bill".
That's quite a stretch, isn't it? One can only imagine the actual man returning and wondering in a bewildered fashion --- who is this "Christ Jesus" they are all talking about and invoking all the time?
All those prayers and invocations really are going to a "dead letter box".
Next, let's look at the address.
You can't exactly drop a prayer in the slot at the Post Office like a Letter to Santa, but you can put the correct name and address on it.
And there we run into other problems.
First of all, Jesus didn't teach us to pray to him. He taught us to pray to his Father in Heaven, in his name---like an "in care of" address. Pretty hard to pull that one off if you don't know and use his name, also impossible if you use a title like "Christ" or "Christ Jesus" instead.
Now, Joshua and his Father are not stupid. They know when we are earnestly trying to reach out to them and what we need and all about whatever it is that troubles us before we even speak it. They overcome our ignorance and limitations. They bypass those who are trying to deceive us.
But the point is, we are being deceived. We are being given bad advice by the various churches and taught bad assumptions and bad habits of mind.
How many people have been taught to pray to the Son and not the Father?
How many people have been taught to literally worship the man, the creation, and not the Creator? Romans 1:25.
And at the end of our pitiful epistles, the pouring out of our lonely hearts, how do they teach us to send our prayers on their way?
By saying, "Amen" ---- but that has a double meaning, depending on how you pronounce it, and who is ever taught this?
Say it one way, and it means, "It shall be so." which sounds rude and presumptuous when you are asking for help. Say it another way, and it's the name of an Egyptian sun-god.
Mis-addressed with a capital "M".
Yes, it's more than enough to make you think that yes, our prayers have been misaddressed to a dead letter box --- literally.
Words can be such deceitful, unmanageable, squishy things that somehow manage to roll around like a jar of spilled marbles --- even at the best of times and with the best intentions.
And there is plenty of reason in view of everything else, to think that all these "mistakes" have not happened with the best of intentions....so, here we are, again, being taught all sorts of rubbish by the experts we rely on.
As for me, I've been praying all afternoon without saying or thinking a single word. Praying for the animals. Praying for all the clueless young people throwing bricks. Praying for the Earth we all live on. Praying for our country.
And all without a single word. It's all just pure feeling.
In the final analysis, I believe that this is how we are meant to pray "in the spirit" with no middlemen, no feckless words, no mistakes in pronunciation.
Just write it with your heart and send it with your love and let your whole life be the message.