An Ever-Present Help

When Jane was born, her father wrote: “We have now another girl, a present plaything for her sister Cassy, and a future companion.” His words proved prophetic indeed. Jane’s only sister in a rather large family, Cassandra was, from the very first, Jane’s closest earthly companion. In fact, when Cassandra was old enough to go to school, little Jane went with her, not because she was old enough, but “because she would have been miserable without her sister.” Throughout her life, Jane cherished Cassandra’s friendship, and the two sisters were rarely apart.

In this line of her prayer, Jane focuses on God’s nearness. Her words remind us that the Lord, even more than any earthly friend or companion, is always with us. Her prayer points us to the promise that we are never alone. It brings to mind the picture of a best friend—one who is always there, knows all our secrets, and will come whenever we call. In Proverbs, we read that “there are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother” (18:24 NLT). That friend is Jesus, who gave his life as a ransom for yours, so you could be set free from sin and death and enjoy a relationship with God.

Jane prayed

Thou art every where present, from Thee no secret can be hid . . .

Do you feel alone sometimes?

Dodge, Rachel. Praying with Jane: 31 Days through the Prayers of Jane Austen. Baker Publishing Group.

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Rachel Dodge

Rachel Dodge is a Jane Austen scholar and the author of Praying with Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen. She teaches college writing and literature classes and gives talks at local book clubs, libraries, and literary groups. Rachel is a regular contributor to Jane Austen’s World blog, Write That Book, Regency World Magazine, and the award-winning Inspire Writers blog. She was the keynote speaker at the Sacramento Public Library’s “How Austentatious!” series, Notable Books series, and 2014 Jane Austen Birthday Tea. Rachel is a graduate of the University of Southern California (B.A. in English and public relations) and California State University, Sacramento (M.A. in English literature). She wrote her Master’s Thesis on etiquette in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and won the 2005 Dominic J. Bazzanella Literary Award in non-fiction for “Pictures of (Im)perfection: Jane Austen’s ‘Delightful’ Elizabeth Bennet.” She is an active member of Inspire Writers, JASNA, JASNA Greater Sacramento, the L.M. Montgomery Institute, Write that Book, Literary Life, and several Downton Abbey and Jane Austen fan clubs.