Below you’ll find excerpts from the chapter, plus my own additional reflections, the encouragement God has put on my heart to share with you today, a special prayer for you to pray, and a worship song.
Day 4 Reflection: 7 Days of Prayer with Jane Austen
Have Mercy Oh Gracious Father! upon all that are now suffering from whatsoever cause, that are in any circumstance of danger or distress. Give them patience under every affliction, strengthen, comfort & relieve them.Jane Austen, Prayers
This portion of Jane’s prayer is a prayer of intercession. In it, Jane prays on behalf of “all” that are suffering or are “in any circumstance of danger or distress.” Her words reflect her confidence in God’s ability to strengthen us during times of pain and trial, comfort us in our seasons of deepest need, provide us with his tangible help and presence in life’s hardest moments, and give us “patience under every affliction.”
“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” (Psalm 3:3)
Jane’s prayer for “patience under every affliction” and for strength, comfort, and relief in distress is based in biblical truth: The Bible says God “gives power to the faint” (Isaiah 40:29), he is the “God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3), and he gives us “relief from [our] suffering” (Isaiah 14:3 NIV). In this broken world, we face illness, danger, and grief, but in everything, God is with us. When trouble comes, we can pray for God’s favor to descend, for his presence to come, and for his love to pour out.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4)
Invitation to Pray:
Thank you, God, that you are an ever-present help in my times of need. Thank you that you are my daily strength, comfort, and relief.
I now lift up to you the things that are distressing in my personal life: [your specific needs].
I also lift up to you the people I know who are suffering or experiencing deep trials or sickness: [specific names].
Please show me who I can reach out to today with a phone call, a Bible verse, and a time of prayer.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
God of All Comfort
Today’s prayers and passages are extremely comforting. Take time to meditate on each Scripture verse. Try writing them out, saying them out loud, or writing one on a card to post somewhere in your house where you will see it throughout the day.
Please consider sharing these prayers, reflections, and verses with others. So many people feel isolated and/or fearful right now. As I joined my church small group on Zoom yesterday evening, my eyes filled with unexpected tears. I didn’t realize how much I needed to see their faces and hear their voices. I miss my church family SO much. Email and texting is wonderful, but hearing a friend’s voice is incredible. Make time to call someone today.
Grace and peace,