Make Us Mindful

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.

Jane prayed

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?


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.