Our Father

Praying-with-Jane-cover-selection-e1526670754657We have come to the end of our study.  Below are the closing lines from each of Jane’s three prayers. With these words, Jane concludes her own prayers and leads into the Lord’s Prayer, which would have most likely been recited out loud, corporately. In these lines, Jane asks their “Almighty God” and “most merciful Father” to hear their prayers, “for His sake who has redeemed us,” referring to their “Blessed Saviour,” Jesus Christ, saying that it’s in his name and “Words” that they pray.

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Look With Compassion

In this portion of her prayer, Jane asks God to “look with compassion” on those who are “afflicted,” experiencing the “pangs of disease,” or who are “broken in spirit.” In Jane’s novels, when someone is ill or distressed, their friends and family provide tangible help and comfort. In the same way, Jane and Cassandra frequently nursed family members when they were ill.

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Morning Dawns And Evening Fades

Jane experienced a season in her life that was marked by loss and change. In 1797, Cassandra’s fiancé died in the West Indies. In 1801, Jane’s father retired and moved their family to Bath, away from her beloved Hampshire. Then in 1806, while in Bath, her dear father died suddenly and without warning. Jane didn’t write as much during her years in Bath, which some attribute to a lack of inspiration or a dislike of the town itself. However, it may be that Jane was affected most by who and what she lost while living there.

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Blessed Beyond Deserving

Austen’s novels are littered with characters who perhaps end up with better than they deserve. Edmund, after following Miss Crawford around like a lovesick puppy and giving up ground on many moral issues, still ends up with kind Fanny; Emma is forgiven her many failings and faults and marries generous Mr. Knightley; and Edward Ferrars, after making a foolish secret engagement with Lucy Steele, marries sensible Elinor. Grace is given and lessons are learned.

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