To The Farthest Reaches

Jane’s letters to her sister, Cassandra, are long and full of detail. To save postage, people in Jane’s day wrote horizontally across the page until it was filled, then turned the paper ninety degrees and wrote across it again. Sometimes, they even turned the paper one more time and wrote across the sheet upside-down. It’s easy to imagine what joy Cassandra felt when she received a letter from Jane that began with “My dearest Cassandra” and was filled with lines and lines of news.

In this portion of her prayer, Jane prays for those whom she loves and values, for “every Friend & Connection,” and for those “divided & far asunder.” For Jane, this most likely included praying for her brothers in the navy, for any family who were traveling, and for friends and family who lived in other parts of the country. She asks God to keep them “under” his watchful eye of protection.

Jane prayed

We are helpless & dependent; Graciously preserve us. For all whom we love & value, for every Friend & Connection, we equally pray; However divided & far asunder, we know that we are alike before Thee, & under thine Eye.

Is there someone you want to pray for regularly who is “far asunder,” either geographically or spiritually?


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.