"Pray" is published by the Presbyterian Church of Australia General Assembly Committee on Public Worship and Aids to Devotion. It is the third and final book in a series of three publications released by the Committee for the purpose of aiding fervent and authentic worship of God throughout all our churches. It is a companion volume to "Rejoice", the hymn book of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, and "Worship", the Book of Common Order of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.
"Pray", we trust, will prove a particularly useful tool to ministers, home missionaries, lay preachers, and elders in their conduct of public worship. We also trust it will have wider usefulness as an aid to private and family devotions.
The prayers selected cover a wide range of themes that regularly occur within the context of public worship. The following criteria have been rigorously adhered to for the purpose of selecting prayers for inclusion across all categories: faithfulness to the Word of God; consistency with our Confessional standards; God glorifying; Christ exalting; Cross centred; spiritual; and reflective of the rich heritage of devotion that exists within the Presbyterian and Reformed tradition.
Within the Presbyterian family of churches, there has long been a strong emphasis upon the use of extemporaneous prayer in public worship. However, there has been a long-standing and well-established practice of the use of written prayers also. This volume seeks to make available in edited form some of the wealth of devotion that has been left to us from the past, in particular from those times of great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in revival and from the pen of those men through whom God worked in a conspicuous way. It is our hope that this volume will be used in conjunction with and will further stimulate the continued practice of extemporaneous prayer.
We want especially to acknowledge a particular indebtedness to Arthur Bennett's compilation volume "The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers", published by Banner of Truth, 1975. Bible quotations are from the New International Version, use of which is acknowledged with thanks. Thank you to the many people who contributed to this work by way of submissions, advice and encouragement.
This work is offered in the hope that it will be used of God to strengthen the prayer life of our churches, to the praise of God, and the building up of His people.
Rev Philip Mercer, Editor
For the Public Worship and Aids to Devotion Committee
General Assembly of Australia