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What are famous songs about prayer?

What are famous songs about prayer?

Faith in God is a great source of inspiration for many artists. And certainly not only for performers of Christian music. You will also find many references to God and prayer in pop music. It is interesting to see what prayer means to the artists: a direct line to God, a habit or is it a nice expression? Through the songs you can often also discover something about their own relationship with God. And so you can reflect on your vision of prayer.

Top 10 songs about prayer

This top ten includes songs about prayer by the likes of Sam Smith, Kesha, Kendrick Lamar, Dolly Parton, Aretha Franklin and more. Listen to the songs, read the lyrics, and think for yourself: what does prayer mean to you?

1. Pray | Sam Smith ft. Logic

We know Sam Smith from the James Bond title song Writing’s on the Wall for the film Spectre. And also from hits like Promises, La La, La and Too Good at Goodbye. A visit with WarChild in Iraq prompted Sam Smith to write this song. “I was just embarrassed. That I didn’t know about this side of the world. How different life can be. And me singing songs about love. I hope this song can be a comfort to those who have to live in darkness.”

I’m gonna pray

Pray for a glimmer of hope

Maybe I’ll pray, pray, maybe I’ll pray

I’ve never believed in you, no, but I’m gonna pray

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Pray | Sam Smith ft. Logic | Lyrics

I’m young and I’m foolish, I’ve made bad decisions
I block out the news, turn my back on religion
Don’t have no degree, I’m somewhat naïve
I’ve made it this far on my own

But lately, that shit ain’t been gettin’ me higher
I lift up my head and the world is on fire
There’s dread in my heart and fear in my bones
And I just don’t know what to say

Maybe I’ll pray, pray
Maybe I’ll pray
I have never believed in you, no
But I’m gonna pray

You won’t find me in church (no) reading the Bible (no)
I am still here and I’m still your disciple
I’m down on my knees, I’m beggin’ you, please
I’m broken, alone, and afraid

I’m not a saint, I’m more of a sinner
I don’t wanna lose, but I fear for the winners
When I tried to explain, the words ran away
That’s why I am stood here today

And I’m gonna pray (Lord)
Pray (Lord), maybe I’ll pray
Pray for a glimmer of hope
Maybe I’ll pray (Lord), pray (Lord), maybe I’ll pray
I’ve never believed in you, no, but I’m gonna

Won’t you call me?
Can we have a one-on-one, please?
Let’s talk about freedom
Everyone prays in the end
Everyone prays in the end

Oh, won’t you call me?
Can we have a one-on-one, please?
Let’s talk about freedom
Everyone prays in the end
Everyone prays in the end

Oh, I’m gonna pray, I’m gonna pray
I’m gonna pray
Pray for a glimmer of hope
Maybe I’ll pray, pray, maybe I’ll pray
I’ve never believed in you, no, but I’m gonna pray

2. Pray for Me | Kendrick Lamar & The Weeknd

Pray for Me is featured on the soundtrack of the Marvel movie The Black Panther. The hero epic is therefore the inspiration for this song. The song is about loss, loyalty, sacrifice and redemption. But also about the loneliness of a hero. For who prays for him? Who saves the hero?

Who gon’ pray for me?

Take my pain for me?

Save my soul for me?

‘Cause I’m alone, you see

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Pray for Me | Kendrick Lamar & The Weeknd

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
I’m always ready for a war again
Go down that road again
It’s all the same
I’m always ready to take a life again
You know I’ll ride again
It’s all the same (Ooh, ooh, ooh)
Tell me who’s gon’ save me from myself
When this life is all I know
Tell me who’s gon’ save me from this hell
Without you, I’m all alone

Who gon’ pray for me?
Take my pain for me?
Save my soul for me?
‘Cause I’m alone, you see
If I’m gon’ die for you
If I’m gon’ kill for you
Then I spilled this blood for you, hey

I fight the world, I fight you, I fight myself
I fight God, just tell me how many burdens left
I fight pain and hurricanes, today I wept
I’m tryna fight back tears, flood on my doorsteps
Life a livin’ hell, puddles of blood in the streets
Shooters on top of the building, government aid ain’t relief
Earthquake, the body dropped, the ground breaks
The poor run with smoke lungs and Scarface

Who need a hero? (Hero)
You need a hero, look in the mirror, there go your hero
Who on the front lines at ground zero? (Hero)
My heart don’t skip a beat, even when hard times bumps the needle
Mass destruction and mass corruption
The souls of sufferin’ men
Clutchin’ on deaf ears again, rapture is comin’
It’s all prophecy and if I gotta be sacrificed for the greater good
Then that’s what it gotta be

Who gon’ pray for me?
Take my pain for me?
Save my soul for me?
‘Cause I’m alone, you see
If I’m gon’ die for you
If I’m gon’ kill for you
Then I spilled this blood for you, hey

Hey, hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey, hey

Who gon’ pray for me?
Take my pain for me?
Save my soul for me?
‘Cause I’m alone, you see
If I’m gon’ die for you
If I’m gon’ kill for you
Then I spilled this blood for you, hey

Just in case my faith go, I’ll live by my own law
I’ll live by my own law, I’ll live by my own
Just in case my faith go, I’ll live by my own law
I’ll live by my own law, I’ll live by my own

3. Praying | Kesha

The song Praying brought singer Kesha back into the charts. She was already known for songs like Tik Tok, Right Around and Die Young. For years she struggled with her self-image, her weight and suicidal thoughts. That is why she is so proud of this song. According to her, it shows that no matter what you are going through, you can always heal. That you can pray for those who have hurt you. That forgiveness is ultimately the key for you to move on.

Oh, sometimes, I pray for you at night

Oh, someday, maybe you’ll see the light

Oh, some say, in life you gonna get what you give

But some things, only God can forgive

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Praying | Kesha | Lyrics

> Music video spoken intro<
“Am I dead? Or is this one of those dreams? Those horrible dreams that seem like they last forever? If I am alive, why? Why? If there is a God or whatever, something, somewhere, why have I been abandoned by everyone and everything I’ve ever known? I’ve ever loved? Stranded. What is the lesson? What is the point? God, give me a sign, or I have to give up. I can’t do this anymore. Please just let me die. Being alive hurts too much.”

Well, you almost had me fooled
Told me that I was nothing without you
Oh, and after everything you’ve done
I can thank you for how strong I have become

‘Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I’ll just say this is I wish you farewell

I hope you’re somewhere praying, praying
I hope your soul is changing, changing
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, praying

I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breathe again
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come

‘Cause I can make it on my own
And I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known
I’ve been thrown out, I’ve been burned
When I’m finished, they won’t even know your name

You brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I’ll just say this is I wish you farewell

I hope you’re somewhere praying, praying
I hope your soul is changing, changing
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, praying

Oh, sometimes, I pray for you at night
Oh, someday, maybe you’ll see the light
Oh, some say, in life you gonna get what you give
But some things, only God can forgive

I hope you’re somewhere praying, praying
I hope your soul is changing, changing
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, praying

4. Pray | Kodaline

Kodaline is an alternative rock band and despite their Roman Catholic roots, faith doesn’t really play a big role in their lives. Nevertheless, their songs sometimes have a spiritual vibe. This is also the case with their song Pray. Asked about the meaning behind this song, they answered that they see praying more as something nice you can say to someone. An encouragement. An interesting take on prayer right?

I’ll pray for you

Do you pray for me?

I’ll pray for you

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Pray | Kodaline | Lyrics

How many nights do you lie dreaming
I’m counting the days since you went away
When I lost my heart, life lost all meaning
What I would give to see you again

I’ll pray for you
Do you pray for me?
I’ll pray for you

And you slipped away from me without talking
The look in your eye was stronger than this
And I drink alone to stop me from weeping
What’s left of my heart is forever yours
Forever yours

I’ll pray for you
Do you pray for me?
I’ll pray for you

I know I know I know I know

5. Pray | Justin Bieber

At the age of 13, Justin Bieber was discovered and soon he was immensely popular. Hits like Sorry, Baby, What Do You Mean and Love Yourself stormed the charts worldwide. A rollercoaster life for this young guest. Faith in Jesus brings more peace to his life. He is also other the tattoos that include Bible references, a picture of Jesus and a big cross. In interviews and on Instagram he often shares his love for God. The song Pray is therefore straight from the heart.

I pray for the broken-hearted.

I pray for the life not started.

I pray for all the lungs not breathing.

I pray for all the souls that need a break.

Can you give ’em one today?

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Pray | Justin Bieber | Lyrics

And I pray

I just can’t sleep tonight
Knowing that things ain’t right.
It’s in the papers, it’s on the TV, it’s everywhere that I go:
Children are crying,
Soldiers are dying,
Some people don’t have a home.

But I know there’s sunshine beyond that rain.
I know there’s good times beyond that pain.
Hey, can you tell me how I can make a change?

I close my eyes and I can see a better day.
I close my eyes and pray.
I close my eyes and I can see a better day.
I close my eyes and pray.

I lose my appetite
Knowing kids starve tonight.
Am I a sinner
‘Cause half my dinner
Is still there on my plate?
Ooh, I got a vision to make a difference.
And it’s starting today.

‘Cause I know there’s sunshine beyond that rain.
I know there’s good times beyond that pain.
Heaven, tell me I can make a change.

I close my eyes and I can see a better day.
I close my eyes and pray.
I close my eyes and I can see a better day.
I close my eyes and…

I pray for the broken-hearted.
I pray for the life not started.
I pray for all the lungs not breathing.
I pray for all the souls that need a break.
Can you give ’em one today?

I just can’t sleep tonight.
Can someone tell me how to make a change?

I close my eyes and I can see a better day.
I close my eyes and pray.
I close my eyes and I can see a better day.
I close my eyes and I pray.

I pray.
I pray.

I close my eyes and pray.

6. Hello God | Dolly Parton

When people think of Dolly Parton, they mainly think of her, shall we say, round shapes, blonde wigs and glitter dresses. Yet this immensely popular country singer is so much more than that. For more than 50 years she has been writing and singing one hit after another: I Will Always Love You, 9 to 5 and Jolene, for example. She is now over 70 but still very much in the picture. In 2021 she won a Grammy with the song There was Jesus. Movies, theater, books – Dolly is still going strong. And everywhere she goes, she talks freely about her personal relationship with God. In the middle of her amusement park Dollywood there is even a church, with its own minister. The song Hello God is a personal song about prayer. Dolly asks God the question we all have from time to time: where are you!

Hello God, are you out there?

Can you hear me?

Are you listenin’ any more?

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Hello God | Dolly Parton | Lyrics

Hello God, are you out there?
Can you hear me,
Are you listenin’ any more?
Hello God, if we’re
Still on speakin’ terms
Can you help me like before?
I have questioned your existence,
My resistance leaves me cold
Can you help me go the distance?
Hello God, hello, hello

This old world has gone to pieces
Can we fix it, is there time?
Hate and violence just increases
We’re so selfish, cruel and blind
We fight and kill each other
In your name, defending you
Do you love some more than others?
We’re so lost and confused

Hello God, are you out there?
Can you hear us,
Are you listenin’ any more?
Hello God, if we’re
Still on speakin’ terms
Can you help us like before?
Oh, the free will you have given
We have made a mockery of
This is no way to be livin’,
We’re in great need of your love
Hello God

Hello God, can you grant us
Love enough to make amends
(Hello God) Is there still a chance
That we could start again
Hello God, we’ve learned our lesson
Dear God, don’t let us go
More than ever
Hello God, hello, hello
Hello God, we really need you
We can’t make it without you
(Hello God) We beseech you
In the name of all that’s true
Hello God, please forgive us
For we know not what we do

Hello God, give us one more chance
To prove ourselves to you
Hello, God; hello, God

7. The Junkie’s Prayer | Johnny Cash

To stay in the country spheres for a while, here is a song by Johnny Cash. Besides well-known songs like I Walk the Line and Ring of Fire, Johnny Cash also extended many gospel songs. He was also called a “believing sinner. He struggled with alcohol and drug addiction in his life, yet God always continued to play an important role in his life. The song The Junkie’s Prayer was written as a prayer to God or rather a cry to God then for help. Something that Johnny has done all too often in his life.

Then the cycle of horror starts over once more

Oh God, let me suffer this misery no more

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The Junkie’s Prayer | Johnny Cash | Lyrics

That bed that I lay on is narrow and cold
This sickness inside me tears at my soul
And the devil awaits me, he calls me his son
For he knows I’m cornered and too weak to run

For I soon must return to my gutter of thrills
Where joy is the needle or a bottle of pills
Where a man welcomes misery like an old friend from home
That he uses and abuses till the misery is gone

My mind’s filled with torture my body’s in pain
But the needle is warm as it sinks in my vein
Just a matter of seconds then my mind will be free
From the coldness and darkness that dominate me

But the freedom is short lived and then I’m alone
I must find the pusher but my money’s all gone
Then the cycle of horror starts over once more
Oh God, let me suffer this misery no more

8. I Say a Little Prayer | Aretha Franklin

For Aretha Franklin, faith in God was the foundation of her existence. The American gospel, soul and R&B singer scored big hits like Respect, Chain of Fools and A Natural Woman. The song I say a little prayer was also a great success. Of course, the song is more of a love song than a gospel, yet you can learn quite a bit from this song about prayer. If you care about someone, pray for them wherever you are. Fancy some swinging gospelS? Just click here.

The moment I wake up

Before I put on my makeup

I say a little prayer for you

While combing my hair, now,

And wondering what dress to wear, now,

I say a little prayer for you

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I Say a Little Prayer | Aretha Franklin | Lyrics

The moment I wake up
Before I put on my makeup
I say a little prayer for you
While combing my hair, now,
And wondering what dress to wear, now,
I say a little prayer for you

(Forever) Forever, and ever, (you’ll stay in my heart
and I will love you)
(Forever) Forever, and ever, (we never will part
Oh, how I love you)
(Together) Together, forever , (that’s how it must be
To live without you)
Would only mean heartbreak for me, ooh

I run for the bus, dear,
While riding I think of us, dear,
I say a little prayer for you
At work I just take time
And all through my coffee break-time,
I say a little prayer for you

(Forever) Forever, and ever, (you’ll stay in my heart
and I will love you)
(Forever) Forever, and ever, (we never will part
Oh, how I love you)
(Together) Together, forever, (that’s how it must be
To live without you)
Would only mean heartbreak for me
no body but me

My darling, believe me
For me there is no one but you
Please love me too
Answer my prayer
Answer my prayer now babe, oh-oh

(Forever) Forever, and ever, ever.. (you’ll stay in my heart
and I will love you)
(Forever) Forever, and ever, (we never will part
Oh, how I love you)
(Together) Together, forever , (that’s how it must be
To live without you)
Would only mean heartbreak for me, nobody but me

My darling, believe me
For me there is no one but you
Please love me too
Answer my prayer
Answer my prayer now babe
Say you love me too
Answer it right now babe
Answer my prayer

9. Livin’ on a Prayer | Bon Jovi

Then we throw in another golden oldie: Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. A big hit in the 80s. Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi says he is religious but does not do much with it. This song is not a very spiritual song but it does swing nicely, doesn’t it?

Whooaaaa! We’re half way there

Whooooaaaa! Livin’ on a prayer

Take my hand- we´ll make it – I swear

Whooaaaa! Livin’ on a prayer

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Livin’ on a Prayer | Bon Jovi | Lyrics

Once upon a time
Not so long ago

Tommy used to work on the docks
Union´s been on strike
He´s down on his luck…it´s tough, so tough
Gina works the diner all day
Working for her man, she brings home her pay
For love – for love
She says we´ve got to hold on to what we´ve got
it doesn´t make a difference
If we make it or not
We´ve got each other and that´s a lot
For love – we´ll give it a shot

Whooaaaaaa! We´re half way there
Whooooaaaa! Livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand- we´ll make it – I swear
Whooaaaa! Livin’ on a prayer

Tommy got his six string in hock
Now he´s holding in what he used
To make it talk – so tough, it´s tough
Gina dreams of running away
When she cries in the night
Tommy whispers: Baby it´s okay, someday
We´ve got to hold on to what we´ve got
it doesn´t make a difference
If we make it or not
We´ve got each other and that´s a lot
For love – we´ll give it a shot

Whooaaaaaa! We´re half way there
Whooooaaaa! Livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand- we´ll make it – I swear
Whooaaaa! Livin’ on a prayer
Livin´on a prayer

10. Pray | MC Hammer

Yes, you read that right: MC Hammer is also on the list of pop songs about prayer as a bonus. In the 80-90s, rapper MC Hammer was wildly popular and his song U Can’t Touch This is still the best-selling rap single worldwide. The money poured in but also went out quickly. Result: MC Hammer went bankrupt in the late 1990s. Around that time, he also gets to know Jesus. He comes to faith and even becomes a pastor. He is still called MC Hammer but now MC stands for “Man of Christ. 

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Pray | MC Hammer | Lyrics

That’s word, we pray(pray, pray)
We got to pray
Just to make it today
I said we pray(pray) ah, yeah, pray(pray)
We got to pray
Just to make it to pray
That’s word, we pray

All my life I wanted to make it to the top
(That’s word, we pray)
Some said I wouldn’t
They told me no, but I didn’t stop
(That’s word, we pray)
Working hard, making those movies everyday
(That’s word, we pray)
And on my knees every night, you know I pray

That’s word, we pray(pray)
Ah, yeah, pray(pray) we got to pray
Just to make it today
I said we pray(pray) ah, yeah, pray(pray)
We got to pray
Just to make it today
That’s word, we pray

Now I just think that you
Can do what ever you want
(That’s word, we pray)
I’m bustin’ these rhymes
Making this money and I won’t
(That’s word, we pray)
Forget my people or may town or my ways
(That’s word, we pray)
And on my knees every night I’m still gonna pray

That’s word, we pray(pray)
Ah, yeah, pray(pray) we got to pray
Just to make it today
I said we pray(pray) ah, yeah, pray(pray)
We got to pray
Just to make it today
That’s word, we pray

Time and time and time and time again
(That’s word, we pray)
I kept on knocking, but
These people wouldn’t let me in
(That’s word, we pray)
I tried and tried and tried and tried to make a way
(That’s word, we pray)
But nothing happened till that day I prayed

That’s word, we pray(pray)
Ah, yeah, pray(pray) we got to pray
Just to make it today
I said we pray(pray) ah, yeah, pray(pray)
We got to pray
Just to make it today
That’s word, we pray

Children dying, oh, so fast from this or that
(That’s word, we pray)
Needing that money
Smoking that dope and doing that crack
(That’s word, we pray)
Ten years old stand outside
Better look out
(That’s word ,we pray)
Dead and gone, never had a chance
What’s it all about?

That’s word, we pray(pray) ah, yeah, pray
We need to pray
Just to make it today
I need to pray(pray),ah, yeah, pray
We need to pray
Just to make it today
That’s word, we pray

That’s word, we pray

That’s word, we pray(pray) ah, yeah, pray
We need to pray
Just to make it today
I need to pray(pray),ah, yeah, pray
We need to pray
Just to make it today
That’s word, we pray

On a mission start to doubt.here we go
(That’s word,we pray)
Kicking back,read these words we need to know
(That’s word,we pray)
Living high,living good,living long
(That’s word,we pray)
Take a minute,bust a prayer
And you’re good to go

That’s word, we pray(pray) ah, yeah, pray
We need to pray
Just to make it today
I need to pray(pray),ah, yeah, pray
We need to pray
Just to make it today
That’s word, we pray

We’re sending this one out to the Lord
(That’s word, we pray)
And we thank you and we know we need to pray
(That’s word, we pray)
Cause all the blessings that are good they come from above
(That’s word, we pray)
And once again we want
To say “thank you” to the Lord with all our love

That’s word, we pray(pray) ah, yeah, pray
We need to pray
Just to make it today
I need to pray(pray),ah, yeah, pray
We need to pray
Just to make it today
That’s word, we pray

That’s word, we pray(pray, pray) 
That’s word, we pray

Time and time and time and time again
(That’s word, we pray)
I kept on knocking, but
These people wouldn’t let me in
(That’s word, we pray)
I tried and tried and tried and tried to make a way
(That’s word, we pray)
But nothing happened till that day I prayed

Would you like to talk about prayer some time? Do you have questions, comments, or need help praying? Send us a message here or tell us what we can pray for you here.

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