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Pastoral Prayers in Public Places

Abingdon Press, Nashville
R.R.P. $16.25 Available from MediaCom – phone toll free: 1800 811 311 or order online at www.mediacom.org.au

Every minister or pastoral carer knows how challenging it can be to offer prayer at a wide variety of public occasions.

Belton Joyner has tackled this task head-on offering us this resource for eighty diverse life situations.

Though written in the American context (and therefore having text for occasions such as Columbus Day and Veterans’ Day), most prayers are significant for our situations. Death, court, school, jobs, pets, family, business, children, civic, elderly, and hospital are the broad headings. Into each of these categories are woven situations that a pastoral carer may encounter.

A page is given to each event, and begins with a real life illustration. This is followed by a relevant verse of Scripture, and then the prayer, which is really the heart of the book, follows.

You will encounter prayers for the 50th wedding anniversary, for singles, for family reunions, for someone who has stopped smoking, for volunteers, for those who wish to confess to abuse, to name just a few.

While I would definitely recommend Pastoral Prayers in Public Places for those continually confronted with praying in public, this would also be useful for individuals as they journey through the seasons of life.

For example, if you are the parent of a school aged child there are resources to help you deal with a fight that happened at school, with tension before an examination, celebration for the time of graduation, and more.

Pastoral Prayers in Public Places is a useful addition to any library.

Reviewed by Rev Barbara Bailey