My introduction to Jane Austen was the 1995 mini-series of Pride and Prejudice which my mum played for me, when I was sick with flu, from start to finish for me. In my early teen years I tackled reading it and was hooked. I worked my way through the rest of her novels before revisiting them in different formats: audiobooks and movies, mini-series and dramatizations! When I saw Praying with Jane by Rachel Dodge pop up, I had to read it! I read Jane’s prayers, and loved them, in a biography on her and excitedly opened this book looking to learn more!
Rachel does a wonderful job of weaving Jane’s prayer, Biblical truths, scripture and knowledge of the books together to form a relevant devotional. This isn’t a historical journey, but one that highlights the strong faith and way with words which Jane exhibited throughout her life. Contrasting behaviours of Jane’s characters and family members, Rachel brings each section of the prayer to life and inspires the reader to make a change, every day, with a reflection question and a prayer.
Some of my favourite lines include:
“In this portion of her prayer, Jane moves into a time of reflection and confession. She asks God to help her “feel” her sins deeply in order to bring about a “sincere” repentance. She wants to take an honest look at her heart.”
“Jane’s prayer points to an inescapable truth: pride and vanity leads us astray because they cause blindness. It happened in the Garden of Eden; it happens daily to each of us. Uzziah’s pride in his own abilities and accomplishments caused his downfall. He began to think of the victories as his, The wealth as his, and the success as his. He forgot God.”
“We experience painful losses that bring with them the need for deep healing and great measures of comfort. And just when it seems as though the darkness of pain and loss will never cease, God brings the morning, he lightens the load of sorrow and carries us through to safety. As we seek his face, he brings the dawn of healing.”
I was inspired, challenged, comforted and encouraged by my 31 days praying with Jane! I highly recommend it, knowing the characters of Jane’s books but it does add to the experience…so I advocate reading all of those too! It’s a five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale!
From the back cover:
The charm of Jane Austen and her novels has been enjoyed for over 200 years by readers around the world. Much has been written about her fascinating life, yet little is known about Jane’s spiritual side. In this lovely 31-day devotional, you will get an in-depth look at Miss Austen’s vibrant, steadfast prayer and faith life. Her intimate relationship with the Father comes to life through her exquisite prayers, touching biographical anecdotes, intimate excerpts from family letters and memoirs, and illuminating scenes from her novels.
Spiritual insights and Scripture references shed light on the profound meaning behind Miss Austen’s prayers and the enduring truths they contain. Each day ends with a key Bible verse and invitation to “pray with Jane,” helping to ignite and deepen your own vibrant relationship with the Father.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.