Pratley found space inside the area to fire home Chris Eagles' cutback and earn a share of the spoils after Danny Ings' deflected effort off David Wheater had put the Clarets into the lead.
The Clarets started last season with a win, and then lost their next three league matches but this time around it was they who made the early running in the Lancashire derby.
Kieran Trippier's long-range effort was the closest the home side, starting life without last season's top goalscorer Charlie Austin, came in the opening exchanges but his shot was claimed comfortably by Adam Bogdan.
Medo Kamara fired over from distance for the visitors on 18 minutes before the Clarets survived a shout for a penalty, Kevin Long tangling with Pratley.
The deadlock was broken on 26 minutes and it was the home side who took a deserved lead.
Striker Ings latched onto a Sam Vokes' flick racing past Wheater and bundling home via a deflection from the Wanderers' centre-back.
Bolton continued to probe with Lee Chung-yong and former Burnley winger Eagles finding plenty of room out wide.
And they found themselves level on 37 minutes, Pratley slamming home from 12 yards out after a neat cut-back from Eagles.
That left honours even after an opening 45 minutes in which both sides enjoyed plenty of possession but failed to create much in the final third.
After a markedly slower start to the second half, Junior Stanislas was the first to try his luck with a curling free-kick which was spilled behind for a corner by Bogdan 10 minutes after the restart.
Bolton manager Dougie Freedman was forced into a change around the hour mark, Eagles - injured in a clash with David Jones minutes earlier - replaced by David Ngog.
Both sides continued to press without much end product with Dean Marney and Stanislas smashing wildly over from distance after corners were only half cleared.
But the away side almost scrambled their way in front on 75 minutes, Lee's corner getting stuck in the feet of Ngog before the Clarets were able to clear.
Substitute Craig Davies looked a threat when he was introduced with 11 minutes to go and almost made an immediate impact, stinging the fingertips of Tom Heaton from distance just seconds after his arrival.
Freedman masterminded a late bid for the play-offs last season but it was the Clarets who finished the game in the ascendancy as both sides had to settle for a point.