Jane now enters into a time of recollection and confession in her prayer. While morning prayer lends itself to seeking God’s direction for the day, evening prayer often focuses on looking back over the day in personal reflection. As Jane considers her day, she asks God’s pardon (or forgiveness) for any “offences,” “evil Thoughts,” “neglected duties,” or sins.
Jane’s life, faith, and writing were undoubtedly influenced by the prayers in the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer. Jane heard these prayers at home and at church, read them for herself, and learned many of them by heart. She not only understood the spiritual meaning of the prayers, she knew the heft and rhythm of their lines and phrases. The content and the cadences undoubtedly spoke to her spiritual nature and to her writer’s ear.
Pardon Oh God! the offences of the past day. We are conscious of many frailties; we remember with shame & contrition, many evil Thoughts & neglected duties, & we have perhaps sinned against Thee & against our fellow-creatures in many instances of which we have now no remembrance.
Is there unconfessed sin or a bitter attitude lingering in your life?