A Prayer for Shelter

ImageHold me, Lord, in the palm of Thine hand. Thou who dost surround the righteous with angels, surround me with Thyself.

Thou art greater than all, and it is enough for me, the small one, if Thou hidest me in the cleft of the rock, as Thou didst Moses.

Bury me in the belly of the whale, as Thou didst Jonas. Thou who wast carried in Thy Mother’s womb, enflesh me in the prayers of the Theotokos.

Hold me up over the waters, who am not worthy like Peter. Be with me in the tomb, as Thou didst Lazarus, Thine own friend.

The world cannot contain Thee, yet I am contained in Thee. I am fit for Hades, but find me there, as Thou didst the Psalmist, and take me up in the clouds as Thou hast done the perfect.

The lamps full of oil, the cisterns of water and wine for the Wedding, the vials of costly perfume for Thy feet, all these hold Thy servants, yet hold me in Thyself where I might not be poured out except for Thine own pleasure.

Thou who dost wrap the heavens in a cloth, who was wrapped with purple, who was placed in a tomb, who made the world a paradise, who clothest the lillies and the stranger and the poor, I am poor and a stranger to Thee. Visit me in my prison and make it a cell of prayer.

My heart is full of passions, my house unswept, purify me and walk about in me as the Temple, bury the law in the ark of my heart, that when Thou dost empty judgment upon the world, I might be spared.

Thou art the home and the place of all real things. Thou who dost shelter existence, with Thy blood on the lintel. Thou dost show us the Eden of thy most pure mother, the bosom of the saints, the shelter of Thy house in which are rooms for the holy. The cup that dispenses Thy body and blood is the vision of the heavenly union, the theosis of at last dwelling in Thee.

Make all the places one, Lord, and do not let me be outside, without a place, in outer darkness. Thou has made a place for Thy favored servants, let me be a slave in the house of Thy sons, as the prodigal. Make me rise at the appointed time and at last live in my own body with Thee who was resurrected for my sake.

Hear my prayer. Look with mercy on my failed words. See and know my broken thoughts, and make of all these things one whole dwelling place among all Thy places. I am desolate, barren, and a shelter for demons. I am a tomb for the dead. Save me.

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