Prayer in a Soviet Prison

The greatest miracle of all is prayer. I have only to turn my thoughts to God and I suddenly feel a force bursting into me; there is new strength in my soul, in my entire being . . . The basis of my whole spiritual life is the Orthodox liturgy, so while I was I was in prison I attended it every day in my imagination . . . At the central point of the liturgy . . . I felt myself standing before the face of the Lord, sensing almost physically his wounded, bleeding body. I would begin praying in my own words, remembering all those near to me, those in prison and those who were free, those still alive and those who had died. More and more names welled up from my memory . . . the prison walls moved apart and the whole universe became my residence, visible and invisible, the universe for which that wounded, pierced body offered itself as a sacrifice . . . After this, I experienced an exaltation of spirit all day — I felt purified within. Not only my own prayer helped me, but even more the prayer of many other faithful Christians.

🌼 🌸 🌼 🌸 🌼 🌸 🌼 🌸

I felt it continually, working from a distance, lifting me up as though on wings, giving me living water and the bread of life, peace of soul, rest and love.

🌸 🌼 🌸 🌼 🌸 🌼 🌸 🌼

Anatoli Levitin, USSR

—- from The Lion Prayer Collection edited by Mary Batchelor, at p. 191

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