Friday, July 24, 2015

Persuasion and Prayers Read-Along: Day 15 (Conclusion)



Welcome to Day 15 of the Persuasion and Prayers Read-Along - the last day of our three-week event!

I've had an absolute blast experiencing Persuasion with you all - from discussing the book together to our Twitter movie watch-along - and celebrating the release of The Prayers of Jane Austen. To anyone and everyone who left a comment, participated in the giveaways, and/or simply expressed excitement for this event and the books we've read: Thank you. Your enthusiasm and friendship mean the world!

If you'd like to look back through our discussions of Persuasion and The Prayers of Jane Austen, just click on the read-along tag or the button in the sidebar. (Some of the participants posted on their blogs, as well: My Favorite Pastime, Flowers of Quiet Happiness) You can also check out the fun we've had on other social media sites: #InspiredByAusten on Twitter and the Inspired by Austen Pinterest board.

And one more thing: Terry Glaspey, editor of The Prayers of Jane Austen, has a new website! I'm sure he'd love it if you popped on over to check it out (and maybe order a signed copy of the book from him :)).

Now, we still have one last discussion scheduled for this event. Today we're talking about the third part of Jane Austen's prayers from The Prayers of Jane Austen (the lovely book that inspired this whole read-along!).


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The Prayers of Jane Austen: Part III

Discussion Format: One quote to ponder, one observation, and one question for each day's reading.

Quote to Ponder

"Teach us, Almighty Father, to consider this solemn truth, as we should do, that we may feel the importance of every day, and every hour as it passes..." - Jane Austen

Observation

This is such a lovely concluding prayer, with a theme of making the most of our time, our blessings, and our relationships. It addresses the paradox of needing to truly live each moment, but also needing to understand that our journeys require patience. It's the perspective of eternity, to realize that all we have is now, but this "now" is shaping us bit by bit for the endless "now" that awaits beyond time.

Don't the sentiments expressed in this prayer fit well with the lessons of Persuasion?
  • Time is short; don't let pride hold you back from the love you're meant to give.
  • Hardships come and meaningful things take time, so we must follow Jesus's example of patience and endurance.
  • We all mess up, and the knowledge of this ought to make us humble before God and with each other.
  • All in all, God works all things for our good (Romans 8:28), and we're deeply and truly blessed.
  • We need God's mercy to save us from our self-centered and hard-hearted tendencies.
  • "Everyone needs compassion," as the worship song "Mighty to Save" (Hillsong) sums up. We've all suffered in our own ways. We all need love.

I really want to "feel the importance of every day, and every hour as it passes." I think I need to let myself feel that more, and then let that understanding better influence how I choose to use my time.

It's a constant battle, but it's one worth fighting through prayer, with God's grace.

Question

Did this prayer speak to you and your current situation in life? If so, how?

Giveaway!

Today's the last day to enter for a chance to win a hardcover copy of The Prayers of Jane Austen, which includes an introduction and essay from Terry Glaspey on Austen's faith, in addition to the prayers and beautiful illustrations. Be sure to submit your entries using the Rafflecopter form below!

(Giveaway open to US residents only. Prize donated by the book's editor, Terry Glaspey. Thanks, Terry!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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I had such a great time with this read-along that I'd love to do another! This has provided fun motivation to finally read more of Jane Austen's work and to tackle a classic that I might not have gotten to otherwise. I hope you've enjoyed the experience, as well!

You might have noticed the poll I had in the sidebar this past week or so. From the seven who cast their votes, we had two votes each for a read-along of Emma or Pride and Prejudice, and three votes for Northanger Abbey. For some reason, it surprised me that Northanger Abbey would pull ahead...but why should I be surprised when we're talking about Henry Tilney? I mean, he has such an understanding of muslin! ;) (Plus, I'm sure people are probably less familiar with that title than the other two.)

In an ideal world, I picture doing a read-along of Northanger Abbey in October (perfect for the month of Halloween, am I right?), Emma in February (Valentine's Day!), and Pride and Prejudice next summer. But I hesitate to set any firm schedule just yet until we get closer to those dates. I think it might be good to have some recovery time in between the read-alongs, for sure. ;) Know that I'll be thinking about future possibilities, though, and I appreciate knowing what interests everyone! 

It makes me happy to think of doing more read-alongs and watch-alongs with my #BookBesties (← Rissi's awesome hashtag)!

3 comments:

Julie said...

Quote to Ponder: "Incline us O 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."

Hmmm, I thought this went well with our characters in PERSUASION as well. I think that Sir Walter and Elizabeth could have thought a little more humbly of themselves. And to consider their fellow-creatures with kindness. I think this is a great reminder to all of us when we start thinking a little too much of ourselves or when we want to judge others before we have taken care of the junk in our own lives.

I really like that we have discussed this book. When it was first sent to me for review I read through it and I thought, "well that's nice" but I really didn't pay much attention to the wording or the beauty of the prayers. So going back and concentrating and really reading what is being said helped the prayers to become more meaningful. I love the reverence and the intentionality and simplicity of each prayer. And I won a hard-cover copy!!! Woo hoo! Oh wait, is that thinking too highly of myself? ;)

Julie said...

PS: I'm all for another read/watch along and I like your schedule and choices :) count me in :)

Amber Stokes said...

Julie,

That line is a wonderful one to ponder and remember! And we could definitely look back on the actions/words of some of the secondary characters of Persuasion for a reminder of the opposite of this sentiment!

I'm so, so pleased that you found the read-along helpful in appreciating the prayers. That makes me so happy! :D "Reverence, intentionality, and simplicity" are all perfect words to describe Austen's prayers. And yay for winning a copy! ;) I believe Terry sent the book out today, so hopefully it will arrive next week. Enjoy!

~Amber

P.S. Awesome! So glad to know you'd enjoy doing more read-alongs. :) By the way, I love the post you wrote about the read-along for your own blog!