Under His Care

After thanking God for the many blessings in our lives, it’s natural to then pray for God’s continued provision, protection, and help. During Jane’s lifetime, medical knowledge was still limited, people lived in remote homes and villages, ships sank, mothers died in childbirth, and wars claimed fathers and sons. Thus, Jane asks God to “be Gracious” toward their needs and “guard” them during the night. She also asks God to care for and watch over the “sick and afflicted.”

When Marianne falls ill in Sense and Sensibility, Elinor spends her days “attending and nursing her” and “carefully administering the cordials prescribed.” When, on the third evening, Marianne worsens, Elinor notices the change and resolves to sit with Marianne through the night: “Mrs. Jennings, knowing nothing of any change in the patient, went unusually early to bed; her maid, who was one of the principal nurses, was recreating herself in the housekeeper’s room, and Elinor remained alone with Marianne.”

Jane prayed

Be Gracious to our Necessities, and guard us, and all we love, from Evil this night. May the sick and afflicted, be now, & ever thy care . . .


Are you sick, afflicted, in trouble, or alone?



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.