Introductory Note:

Jane Austen is not only one of the funniest writers of all time, she is a beautifully expressive one, as is evidenced by the collection of three evening prayers she composed for family worship.

You’ll find the third one of these, altered slightly for use in both morning or evening, below. It is, I believe, a lovely example of the art of devotional writing. I pray that it blesses your day.

Justine Olawsky

Teach us, Almighty Father, that we may feel the impor­tance of every day, and every hour as it pass­es, and earnest­ly strive to make a bet­ter use of what thy good­ness may yet bestow on us, than we have done of the time past.

Give us grace to endeav­our after a tru­ly Chris­t­ian spir­it to seek to attain that tem­per of for­bear­ance and patience of which our blessed Sav­iour has set us the high­est exam­ple; and which, while it pre­pares us for the spir­i­tu­al hap­pi­ness of the life to come, will secure to us the best enjoy­ment of what this world can give. Incline us oh God! to think humbly of our­selves, to be severe only in the exam­i­na­tion of our own con­duct, to con­sid­er our fel­low-crea­tures with kind­ness, and to judge of all they say and do with that char­i­ty which we would desire from them ourselves.

We thank thee with all our hearts for every gra­cious dis­pen­sa­tion, for all the bless­ings that have attend­ed our lives, for every hour of safe­ty, health and peace, of domes­tic com­fort and inno­cent enjoy­ment. We feel that we have been blessed far beyond any thing that we have deserved; and though we can­not but pray for a con­tin­u­ance of all these mer­cies, we acknowl­edge our unwor­thi­ness of them and implore thee to par­don the pre­sump­tion of our desires.

May thy mer­cy be extend­ed over all mankind, bring­ing the igno­rant to the knowl­edge of thy truth, awak­en­ing the impen­i­tent, touch­ing the hard­ened. Look with com­pas­sion upon the afflict­ed of every con­di­tion, assuage the pangs of dis­ease, com­fort the bro­ken in spirit.

More par­tic­u­lar­ly do we pray for the safe­ty and wel­fare of our own fam­i­ly and friends where­so­ev­er dis­persed, beseech­ing thee to avert from them all mate­r­i­al and last­ing evil of body or mind; and may we by the assis­tance of thy holy spir­it so con­duct our­selves on earth as to secure an eter­ni­ty of hap­pi­ness with each oth­er in thy heav­en­ly king­dom. Grant this most mer­ci­ful Father, for the sake of our blessed Sav­iour in whose holy name and words we fur­ther address thee.

Our Father which are in heav­en, Hal­lowed be thy name. Thy king­dom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heav­en. Give us this day our dai­ly bread. And for­give us our debts, as we for­give our debtors. And lead us not into temp­ta­tion, but deliv­er us from evil: For thine is the king­dom, and the pow­er, and the glo­ry, for ever. 


In the pub­lic domain, via the Jane Austen Cen­tre.

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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