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Book: A book of Reformed Prayers

edited by Howard L. Rice and Lamar Williamson, Jr. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998. 254 pages. $15.00.

The editors of this collection must have had a wonderful as well as challenging time selecting these prayers. In the introduction, “How Reformed Christians Pray,” Howard Rice argues that even though the Reformed tradition may be better known for its “intellectual rigor, its passion for truth, its concern for justice, and its love of liberty,” it also has a distinctive voice in prayer, though very diverse over the centuries and across different cultures.

The prayers are organized historically by century, with brief introductory essays preceding each century, beginning with the sixteenth. Those essays help place the prayers in a theological and historical framework. More than half of the prayers come from the twentieth century.

Every prayer is given a title; an index of those titles makes this collection very helpful for worship planners (adoration, Advent, AIDS, Africa, etc.). A separate section of biographical notes on the authors of the prayers is also helpful. What commends this collection most is the double focus of historical/theological/cultural context and worship planning resource.