Book of Prayers is a token of the interest which the
Church of Scotland takes in the seafaring community.
Remembering that some of the dearest friends of our Lord Jesus Christ when He was upon the earth were fishermen, and knowing the Christian worth of many of our toilers on the sea, and the hardships and perils of their lot in life; and believing that the spirit of devotion to God which is manifested in worship and in prayer is of great importance to all men, and specially to those whose calling is arduous, perilous, and full of temptation, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has directed its Committee on Aids to Devotion to issue this Prayer-book for Sailors and Fisher-folk.
It is well known that many of our sailors and fisher-folk do not need a book to help them either in their public or private prayers; but it is also well known that many of them do need such help, and that for want of it their prayers are hindered. This book is intended to give such help.
There are many occasions when the Christian men in a shipís company or a boatís crew might worship God together, and do not, simply because none of their number dare trust himself to lead the rest, and there are many occasions on which prayers would be most becoming; say at a burial at sea, when there is a storm, when an accident has occurred to one of the crew, or when there is serious sickness on board; but from natural diffidence, or simply from not knowing what to do or say, the duty and comfort and sustaining power of prayer is wanting.
This book is intended for use on such occasions, and any one who will take the trouble carefully to look through it will find in it prayers suited to all the' varying circumstances of seafaring life.
There are two services for the Lordís Day which can be used on board a ship of war, a liner, a merchant ship, or a fishing-boat, with special prayers which can be introduced into the services as occasion demands.
There is a service for the sick in hospital, and a short service which can be read to a sick shipmate, with special prayers to suit the conditions of the sick.
There is a Burial Service which can be used when no clergyman is available.
There are prayers for the use of fishermen afloat and in the fishermanís home.
For the convenience of those who may not be able to carry a Bible about with them, and in order that the proper Scripture material for a service may always be at hand in one volume, several appropriate passages of Holy Scripture are printed at the end of the book.
We invite those into whose hands this book may come to look carefully through it, when we are sure that they will find some prayers suitable to themselves and their circumstances.
We commend the book to all who are interested in sailors and fisher-folk, and specially to societies which exist for the purpose of conducting missions to seamen, in the hope that they will use it and recommend it to those whom they seek to influence for good.
We wish our sailors and fisher-folk Godspeed; and our prayer is, that they may continue stedfast in the faith of Christ, and may come at last into the haven of eternal rest.
By authority of the Committee on Aids to Devotion,
JOHN PATON, D.D.,
Prayers for Sailors and Fisher-Folk
Prepared and Published by instruction of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1901 (pdf)