Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Praying with Jane by Rachel Dodge, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
Title: Praying with Jane
Author: Rachel Dodge
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Daily Encouragement for Your Soul through the Prayers of Jane Austen
For more than two hundred years, Jane Austen and her novels have charmed readers from around the world. While much has been written about her fascinating life, less is known about Jane’s spiritual side. In this beautiful 31-day devotional, Miss Austen’s faith comes to life through her exquisite prayers, touching biographical anecdotes, and illuminating scenes from her novels. Each reading also includes a thematically appropriate Scripture and a prayer inspired by Jane’s petitions.
May this journey into Jane Austen’s life of faith and prayer ignite and deepen your own relationship with the Father who loves you.
God’s Open Doors:
The Story of How Praying with Jane Came To Be
by Rachel Dodge
My journey to publishing a devotional book based on Jane Austen’s prayers all started with a children’s chapter book about mice.
Yep, you read that right.
I woke up one morning several years ago with a children’s allegory burning in my heart. When I was done writing it, everyone who read it said I should “do something with it.” That wasn’t on my radar, but I prayed and sensed the Lord leading me to move forward with it. I spent the next two years perfecting it, getting it critiqued, attending writer’s conferences, and pitching it to editors and agents. There was a lot of interest, but in the end, I heard the same response over and over: “We love the book, but it’s just not the right time.”
I found myself wondering why God gave me that story—and why he brought me into the world of Christian writing—only to bring me to a dead end. I felt like I had finally found my place, my purpose, and my calling. I knew I couldn’t give up, but I didn’t know how to move forward.
I began praying this prayer: “Lord, please open and close the right doors. Your closed doors are just as important as your open doors!”
In the waiting, I continued to do what I always do: I read my One Year Bible and served and loved my husband and kids. I taught writing courses at the college near my house. I took writing and editing jobs on the side. I attended prayer meetings and Bible studies. I read all the things I love to read—from Christian biographies to literary classics to children’s books. I also continued to speak, teach, and write about one of my favorite authors: Jane Austen.
You see, Jane had always been there, from the first moment I read Northanger Abbey in the eighth grade to the many weekends I spent watching Austen films in high school to the year I spent writing my master’s thesis on Pride and Prejudice. After graduate school, I started speaking about Austen’s novels at libraries, teas, book clubs, and literary events. I taught Jane Austen seminars and wrote for a Jane Austen blog.
I enjoyed it all, but I sometimes wondered, “What are your plans in all of this, God? I’d love to teach or write about the Bible! Why do you keep opening the door to Austen instead?” Little did I know, God was doing something else . . . something so unexpected and yet so obvious that I couldn’t see it at the time.
One afternoon, my writing mentor asked if I had ever considered writing a book about Jane Austen’s faith. I leaned in and whispered, “I’d love to write a book about her prayers.” As soon as I said it, we both knew I was supposed to pursue it. The idea took root and would not let go!
I prayed about what the book would look like and began to research and write a manuscript about Austen’s faith and prayers. The Lord gave me specific direction for the project, the format, and the title. He woke me up in the night with dreams and visions—it was a powerful time!
I worked hard and wrote a proposal for a devotional book that takes readers through Austen’s prayers one line at a time for 31 days. I wove personal reflection, Scripture, and moments from Austen’s life and novels into each daily entry. When it was ready, I sent it to an agent I’d met at a Christian writers conference. She loved the concept, offered to represent me, and pitched the book to several publishers. After a few weeks of nail biting and prayer, I received an offer to publish from Bethany House. After so many closed doors for so many years, it was incredible to watch God open the doors wide for this project. To God be all the glory!
But this isn’t just a story about me. This is a story about you, too. God did something I can never explain. He took all of it—the years of faithful study and prayer; the endless cycles of laundry, cooking, cleaning, and exhausted mothering; and the many times I felt stuck in a creative wilderness—and he worked it all for my good and his glory.
God had a plan all along. He was preparing me for something I could never have planned or dreamed on my own. God has a plan for you as well, and you must press on. If you can’t see what he’s up to, don’t lose heart. He will open the right doors at exactly the right time.
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.
He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:11, NLT)
that is such a sweet testimony, Rachel! thank you so much for sharing it with us 🙂 I love how God never wastes anything!
Rachel Dodge teaches college English and Jane Austen classes, gives talks at libraries, teas, and Jane Austen groups, and is a writer for the popular Jane Austen’s World blog. She makes her home in California with her husband, Robert, and their two young children. A true kindred spirit at heart, Rachel loves books, bonnets, and ball gowns. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her hanging out with her husband and kids, serving at her church, or watching period dramas and food documentaries
(1) winner will receive 2 gift sets that include a copy of Praying With Jane as well as a matching journal & stickers (1 for you, 1 for a friend!)!
Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 4, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on December 11, 2019. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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