While I haven't had as much time for reading novels and such, I am going to take a moment to profile some products now and again. Hopefully after my final exam of the semester I'll be able to dive back into some Austenesque fiction! For today however, I have a profile on Praying with Jane by Rachel Dodge. Here is a blurb on the book:
While much has been written about Jane Austen’s life and novels, less is known about her
spiritual side or the three prayers she wrote. In Praying with Jane, Christian readers and Jane
Austen fans can explore Austen’s prayers in an intimate devotional format as they learn about
her personal faith, her Anglican upbringing, and the spiritual truths found in her novels.
Jane Austen’s faith comes to life in this beautiful 31-day devotional through her exquisite
prayers, touching biographical anecdotes, and illuminating scenes from her novels. Each daily
entry includes examples from Austen’s own life and novels, as well as key Scripture verses, ideas
for personal application, and a prayer inspired by Jane’s petitions.
“This is the devotional I didn’t know I was missing. Dodge connects
stories from Austen’s life and the pages of her novels to her prayers and
Scripture in fresh and insightful ways. An inspiring and illuminating look at
the life and faith of a beloved author.”
—Anne Bogel, author, I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of
the Reading Life and blogger, Modern Mrs. Darcy
“Rachel Dodge draws rich meaning and practical application
for modern readers from Jane Austen’s beautifully written prayers. Includes
compelling accounts of Jane’s life and inspiring, heartfelt prayers to make your
own. Praying with Jane is a wonderful devotional for anyone, and a
perfect gift for an Austen fan. Highly recommended.”
—Julie Klassen, bestselling author, Tales from Ivy Hill
“Praying with Jane is full of rich insights into the faith of one of our greatest
English writers. It offers a window into her life and writings, as well as
being a source of spiritual nourishment!”
—Terry Glaspey, author, The Prayers of Jane Austen and
75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know
This is a wonderful item for the Janeite who enjoys a short devotional time each day. I love how it's only a 31-day commitment, so that you can enjoy the volume without feeling pressure to take in a large tome like a reference title, for example. I haven't read the entire book, but did scan over the themes of all of the entries, and one in particular jumped out at me. Here's an excerpt, taken from Prayer 3, Day 26:
Blessed Beyond Deserving
We feel that we have been blessed far beyond any thing that we have deserved; and though we cannot but pray for a continuance of all these Mercies, we acknowledge our unworthiness of them and implore Thee to pardon the presumption of our desires.
Austen's novels are littered with characters who perhaps end up with better than they deserve. Edmund, after following Miss Crawford around like a lovesick puppy and giving up ground on many moral issues, still ends up with kind Fanny; Emma is forgiven her many failings and faults and married generous Mr. Knightley; and Edward Ferrars, after making a foolish secret engagement with Lucy Steele, marries sensible Elinor. Grace is given and lessons are learned.
In Mrs. Bennet's case-- even though she has zero discernment in choosing suitable marriage partners, it terribly vulgar, and gives only bad advice-- she somehow ends up with her two eldest daughters married to kind, handsome men of good character, rank and wealth. Though her parenting merits sons-in-law that more closely resemble Lydia's Mr. Wickham, Mrs. Bennet gets everything she wants: At the end of Pride and Prejudice, she is happy and secure.
Though Mrs. Bennet never fully realizes the extent of her own good luck, Jane recognizes that she and her family have been "blessed far beyond any thing that [they] have deserved." In this portion of [Austen's] prayer, she asks God for a "continuance" of his mercies toward them, acknowledging that they are unworthy of so much. Her words are reminiscent of Psalm 103:10, which says God "does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities." (NIV)
Bethany House has graciously offered to give away a copy of Praying with Jane to one of our U.S. readers! Please utilize the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. The only required entry is your email address, so that we may contact you if you win. All other entries (such as a comment, tweets, etc.) offer bonus points for the giveaway. Contest period closes at 12:01am EST on November 14, 2018. Open to U.S. mailing addresses only.
Today is just one of many in the blog tour for Praying with Jane. Check out these other sites for more viewpoints and content on the book!
Blog Tour Dates:
October 31 – Jane Austen’s World, Vic Sanborn
November 1 – So Little Time, So Much to Read!, Candy Morton
November 2 – Laura’s Reviews, Laura Gerold
November 3 – Burton Reviews, Marie Burton
November 4 – Sofia Rose’s Place, Sophia Rose
November 5 – Jane Austen in Vermont, Deborah Barnum
November 6 – The Calico Critic, Laura Hartness
November 7 – A Bookish Way of Life, Nadia Anguiano
November 8 – Diary of an Eccentric, Anna Horner
November 9 – Becoming, Nichole Parks
November 10 – My Jane Austen Book Club, Maria Grazia
November 11 – My Love for Jane Austen, Sylvia Chan
November 13 – Faith, Science, Joy … and Jane Austen, Brenda Cox
About the Author
Rachel Dodge teaches college English and Jane Austen classes, gives talks at libraries, teas, and Jane Austen groups, and is a writer for the popular Jane Austen’s World blog. She is passionate about prayer and the study of God’s Word. A true “Janeite” at heart, Rachel enjoys books, bonnets, and ball gowns. She makes her home in California with her husband
and their two young children.
Connect with Rachel