I received a Review copy of the ESV Prayer Bible from the good folks at Crossway in exchange for my honest opinion. Their generosity in no way influenced my opinion.
Anyone who has been here for very long knows that I have a deep rooted passion for prayer. When I read the book Fervent a few years ago it radically changed my heart and my mindset on the importance and the power of prayer. When I had the opportunity to review the ESV Prayer Bible from Crossway, I jumped at the chance.
Hardback isn’t really my favorite, but it seems appropriate for this kind of bible. This is a tool meant to be used over and over, so the durability of the hardback will be beneficial.
I generally don’t go for the hardback versions of a Bible. Although hardbacks today are much different than hardbacks of my youth, I prefer the durability of a leather. However, this navy cloth over board is embossed with beautiful gold foil accent, giving it a more elegant and high end feel. It’s also available in a Dark Brown Leather Touch Edition.
The ESV Prayer Bible is obviously written in the English Standard Translation and manufactured by Crossway. The Bible is written in Single Column format and reminds me very much of the Readers Bible that used to be available. It reads very much like a traditional book. The font size is easily legible at 9.25 font. But the real beauty of this Bible lies with the prayer contents.
The main feature of the ESV Prayer Bible is the over 400 prayers mixed into the relevant Biblical passages. These prayers are set apart and printed in a smaller font to make sure that readers recognize that they aren’t the actual word of God. These prayers include prayers are from a wide variety of people including well known preachers, theologians, and authors from throughout history. The main purpose of this feature is to demonstrate how God’s word has not only impacted many well known individuals throughout time, but also show us how easily the Bible itself can be put into prayer format.
While we likely won’t ever pray these prayer specifically, they are a great jumping off point for how to incorporate our own thoughts and feelings along with scripture and pray them back to the Lord. I love that even by reading these prayers, I am more aware of how much scripture works to pray. This Bible also includes an index in the very back of the people whose prayers have been included as well as sketches, brief biographies, and a list of where to find prayers from them.
Like any good Bible, this one also includes brief introductions to the different books of the Bible. Unlike most Bibles, however, this Bible doesn’t include information about the author or time period that the book was written, but rather information about the prayers included within the book, the theme of the book and what type of prayers reading the book may inspire.
One of my favorite tools in any bible (next to the cross references) is my concordance. I love that there is a tool that allows me to look up specific information and verses that pertain to what I’m studying. This particular concordance has a 3 column, 58-page concordance. It’s not as big as some of the ones I have seen, but it’s a great jumping off point and has enough to get anyone started.
The only downside, for me personally, was the lack of note space. This is a simple Bible to follow along with and read. Because of its hard cover and durable build, it’s one that I would likely throw in my purse to have on the go.
I loved the inclusion of the prayers from renowned Pastors and Theologians. As a user of multiple bibles, this was a great addition to my collection. The easy to read format made this Bible simple to read and the lay flat feature is fantastic. The margins aren’t wide enough for any kind of note taking so if that’s what you’re going for, I wouldn’t recommend this. While this isn’t a Bible that I would use daily, it’s a nice one to have for reference sake.
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