George Donigian stopped by Ms. Anne Thrope’s for an Armenian coffee and a quick glance to see who was playing backgammon when Ms. Anne asked him about his new book. “Why don’t I interview you about this Three Prayers You’ll Want to Pray book? Maybe I could sell the interview to a magazine.”
“Good luck with that venture, but I’ll talk with you.”
“I’ve been waiting for you. I have seven questions.” She pulled out a notebook and read: “Question #1: Why did you write this book? Who do you think will read Three Prayers You’ll Want to Pray?”
“That’s two questions, but here goes–When I worked in book publishing, one day I found myself considering the different experiences of worship I had during travels. For ten years I spent at least one week a month away from home. No matter where or what kind of worship—whether in South Africa or the US or Germany or Armenia, in interdenominational gatherings or whatever church I visited—we prayed the Lord’s Prayer. It seemed to me that we overlook the Lord’s Prayer as a prayer for unity. It is a prayer common to all Christians and it was given by Jesus in response to a request from his disciples to teach them to pray. So I started reflecting more on that idea and the book grew from that musing.
“My editor describes the book for 20-40-year-olds. I certainly tried to address questions I hear from adults in this age group, especially those in my family. And that’s why I also write a little about my background and experiences. For example, four teenagers attacked me one morning while I was preparing to go running and I got beaten badly. I write about this in the Diplomat’s Prayer. How do you express gratitude or pray, “For all that has been—Thanks!” after that kind of situation? Suddenly a prayer that seems easy becomes a challenge.
“Returning to the question of who will read the book, I’ve heard from 80-year-olds who thanked me for saying what they’d felt intuitively, but had not found in other books. And I’ve heard from those who go across the spectrum of adulthood who have found the book offers them a new sense of the rhythm of daily prayer.” He stopped talking to finish his coffee.
“Thanks for that answer. Longer than I expected. Maybe you should buy another Armenian coffee before the next question.”