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ESV Prayer Bible Review

The ESV Prayer Bible is set to release at the end of the month. Featuring over 400 historical prayers linked to specific Bible passages it is designed to help readers reflect on God’s Word through prayer.

ISBN: 9781433564512   This Bible was printed in China.

Crossway provided this Bible in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.


This Bible is available for pre-order at (includes some affiliate links)


Barnes & Noble


and many local Bible bookstores


Video Review

Construction & Materials

I’m reviewing the hardcover cloth over board edition. It has a navy cover with gold lettering and a sewn binding.

The page edges are white but they did carry the gold into the Bible and give you thick gold endpapers. There are also a couple of pages of thick white blank paper in both the front and back. The hardcover edition measures 8 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ x 1 3/4″ and weighs almost 2 pounds, 4 ounces.

It has nice, white paper that we are guessing to be in the low to mid 30s GSM. There is one attached navy ribbon marker.

This Bible is also available in a brown TruTone cover.

Typography & Layout

It is a black letter, single column, paragraph edition. The ink is a consistent medium darkness throughout. There is a small amount of show-through but it never drew my attention while using it except in a few places with a lot of white space on the side I was using and a lot of text on the back.

The font size for the biblical text is 9.25 while the font for the included prayers is a 7.25. I think the font style is Lexicon for the text and Gotham for the prayers.

Poetry is set in stanzas and quotes are indented. The page numbers are at the center of the top of the page and guide verses are included in the upper outside corners.

The included footnotes are standard ESV translation notes.

Chapter numbers are 2 lines high and very easy to spot.

I think they have done a good job of making the prayers easy to tell apart from the Biblical text quotes. Even though both are offset the difference in font and slight differences in formatting mean most people will never mistake added prayers for Biblical text.


The key feature of the ESV Prayer Bible is the over 400 prayers added into the text near a relevant Biblical passage. Offset and printed in a smaller font to make sure we take them secondary to God’s words these prayers are from a variety of people including preachers, theologians, and authors from throughout history. Their purpose is to demonstrate the connection between the words God has spoken to us in the Bible and the words we speak back to him in prayer.

Will we pray these prayers exactly? Occasionally, yes. Every once in a while we might find one that resonates almost completely with what the passage says, where we are in our walk with God, and what we want to say to God that we will want to pray the same prayer almost exactly. Most of the time, no. But they are still very useful tools. They show us how others have understood God Word, and how they have reacted to it. They demonstrate how to put into words the thoughts and feelings the passage stir in us and they give us a reaction to compare our own reaction to. Most of the time after reading them we will have a better idea of how to form our own prayer even if it is completely different from the one included in this Bible.

While I would never take any person’s words over the Word of God it is interesting and informative to be able to read other people’s prayers. I really like this feature and look forward to comparing my own prayers to the ones that have been included.

An index of the people whose prayers have been included is in the back of the Bible complete with sketches, brief biographies, and a list of where to find prayers from them.

A more complete bibliography follows with the exact source of each prayer listed in Biblical order.

There is also a Comprehensive Scripture Index. This 3 column reference list in the back of the Bible includes every prayer or reference to prayer in the Bible with two exceptions. A few of the blessings that are addressed more to people than God have been omitted. Also, no references from Psalms have been included since the entire book is a collection of prayers.

Bible Study Tools


The book introductions were made specifically for this Bible. They don’t focus on the author and setting as many introductions do. Instead, they focus on the prayers found within the book, the theme of the book, and what type of prayers might be inspired by reading it.

There is an introductory essay written by Donald S. Whitney, the author of Praying the Bible, explaining the purpose and uses of this Bible and challenging readers to say more than the same prayer day after day.

Also included at the front of the Bible are a brief overview of the features of the ESV Bible, an overview of the features unique to the ESV Prayer Bible, and an introduction to the ESV translation.


It has a 3 column, 58-page concordance. While nowhere near complete it is large enough to be helpful most of the time.

Here are some example entries and the number of references they provide:

  • Christ -16
  • Christ’s – 4
  • Christian – 2
  • Faith – 31
  • Faithful – 11
  • Faithfulness – 7
  • Faithless – 1
  • God – 52
  • Godliness – 5
  • Godly – 3
  • Gods – 2
  • Praise – 21
  • Praised – 4
  • Praises – 3
  • Praising – 4
  • Pray – 10
  • Prayed – 3
  • Prayer – 11
  • Prayers – 6
  • Praying – 3

Reading Plan

The included reading plan is printed is this table format with 3 months to a page. It includes a reading from the Old Testament, Psalms, and the New Testament for each day and following it will have you read the Old Testament once and Psalms and the New Testament twice each year.

Final Thoughts on the ESV Prayer Bible

The ESV Prayer Bible is a great addition to the devotional Bible market. It is a good solid but basic reading Bible. The included historical prayers add the feature of giving us a starting place to respond to God’s Word. It will be a great tool for those wanting to deepen their conversation and relationship with God and include more prayer in their Bible reading time.

Crossway provided this Bible in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.


This Bible is available for pre-order at (includes some affiliate links)


Barnes & Noble


and many local Bible bookstores


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