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52 Popular Songs About Praying and Prayer

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Celebrate the power of prayer with a playlist of pop, rock, country & R&B songs about praying. Get on your knees to offer thanks for the bounties in your life

Celebrate the power of prayer with a playlist of pop, rock, country & R&B songs about praying. Get on your knees to offer thanks for the bounties in your life

Purpose of Prayer

What is the purpose of prayer in your life? Some believers pray as a direct line to the Man Upstairs, making specific requests for supernatural action. They bow their heads and earnestly plead for holy intervention in the health of someone they love or ask for God to intercede so that things go their way.

While some among us use praying as a spiritual wild card—when all else fails, that's where they turn—others hit their knees regularly to express gratitude for the simple abundance in their lives. Or they seek divine guidance in becoming a better person: more forgiving, resilient, patient. They solicit God's intercession in making the world a more peaceful place. Regardless of why or how you pray, explore the diversity of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about prayer. Make a playlist of songs about praying, from the humorous to the somber to the uplifting.

Reader Poll

1. "Pray" by Sam Smith (featuring Logic)

The narrator in this 2017 gospel-inspired pop hit is out of options and has a come-to-Jesus meeting with The Man himself. Having never been religious, the forlorn young man admits that he is naive and unsuccessful in steering his path in life without spiritual guidance. His heart is unsettled and fearful in this chaotic world. In a moment of vulnerability, he chooses to turn his life over to God through prayer.

2. "Praying" by Kesha

Having been psychologically battered by a diabolical individual, the struggling woman in this 2017 pop song refuses to be ruined by him. The hell that he has inflicted has taught her to fight for herself. It has also given her hope for her own future and gifted her with a strength she had never known before.

As she begins to flourish, the young woman hopes her tormenter is somewhere on his knees praying and asking God for forgiveness. "Praying" has been said to be inspired by events underpinning Kesha's series of lawsuits against producer Dr. Luke. The singer accused him of emotional, sexual, and physical abuse, but ultimately the courts found in favor of the producer and refused to allow Kesha to get out of her recording contract with him.

3. "Pray" by Justin Bieber

Never question the positive power of prayer in enacting lasting change. This 2010 song has contemporary Christian, pop, and R&B influences. Although it laments problems like starving children, homeless people, and war, its focus is on prayer and remaining hopeful. The narrator is worshipfully future-focused, and he maintains that through faith, tomorrow will be a better day.

4. "Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore" by Chris Stapleton

When a deeply religious person stops talking to the Lord, you know something is up. In this touching 2015 country ditty, a man recalls memories of his father who consistently said grace and talked to God until he went home to his eternal resting place:

Daddy don't pray anymore
I guess he's finished talking to the Lord
He used to fold his hands and bow his head down to the floor
But Daddy don't pray anymore.

5. "I Pray" by Amanda Perez

The anguish of missing a lost loved is as real and vivid as any physical pain. In this 2004 R&B number, Amanda Perez addresses her deceased loved one, letting them know she'll never forget them. While she expresses regret and wishes that she could turn back the clock to better times, the narrator also looks forward to an everlasting reunion.

The singer dedicated this song to her cousin Mike who died due to heart failure at age 31. Not long after "I Pray" was released, Perez took off from her career to care for her mother, who eventually died from cancer.

6. "Pray for Me" by The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar

From the 2018 Black Panther soundtrack, this internationally successful hip-hop hit crossed over to the pop charts. Set in the apocalyptic future, it has a dark theme and conveys the burden of the superhero who is left to live by his own law. Struggle is all he knows, and he fights

  • hurricanes, earthquakes, and the natural world
  • corruption, violence in the street, and man-made evil
  • God, his fellow man, and himself.

Talk about job burnout! At the same time, however, our superhero feels isolated and wonders:

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'll spill this blood for you, hey.

7. "Prayed for You" by Matt Stell

Is your sweetheart an answer to your prayers? The guy in this tender 2019 country song claims that even though he's not a regular churchgoer, he effectively turned to his faith for an earthly love connection. He admits he's not a Bible-thumping, scripture quoting kind, but as a believer, the narrator long ago sent up an earnest request to find love and understanding in the eyes of a beautiful woman. He tells his partner that before he met her, he prayed to find her. This would make a perfect wedding song!

8. "That's Why I Pray" by Big & Rich

With all of the tragedy and heartache filling this world, the narrator in this 2012 country song finds redemptive value in prayer. Perhaps you do as well. He laments economic problems affecting families, social ills, and natural disasters. The man turns to prayer because he seeks forgiveness, wants to make a difference, and has hope in the future, believing a better day awaits.

9. "Save a Prayer" by Duran Duran

This 1982 new wave tune is a song about a one-night stand ("Some people call it a one night stand, but we can call it paradise"). This was the early 1980s, before HIV became a widespread concern, so the narrator's chief priority is self-enjoyment. As a result, he cautions his hookup partner to save a prayer until the morning that their encounter doesn't result in anything regretful, like an unplanned pregnancy. (How about prevention as well as prayer?)

10. "Pray to God" by Calvin Harris (featuring Haim)

When love has fallen away, part of the pain is second-guessing what went wrong and retrospective emotional sense-making. This 2015 pop song depicts the end of a romance. As the narrator ruminates over her failed love affair, she relives signs that the relationship was deteriorating. If only she could go back in time for a relationship redo. Unfortunately, even prayer is deficient:

I lost the feeling, but I try to hold on
I thought the end of a love is what made you strong
I pray to God, I just don't know anymore.

11. "Pray for You" by Jaron and the Long Road to Love

This guy says to hell with wishing your ex the best. The funny 2009 country song features a heartbroken narrator with a wicked sense of humor. He admits he's not a churchgoer, but that's pretty obvious. Rather than hating on people who have done you wrong, he recommends just praying for them. The funny fella prays for all kinds of unhappiness and ill will to strike his ex, including praying that

  • her dreams never come true
  • she blows a tire going 110 mph and
  • everyone forgets her birthday.

Doesn't it make you wonder what this gal did to deserve his vengefulness?

12. "Down to the River to Pray" by Alison Krauss

With her seraphic voice, Alison Krauss could indeed be part of God's heavenly choir. However, she's here on Earth delivering this breathtakingly beautiful gospel song (2000). She is one of the many popular artists who have made religious music more mainstream.

Gently, Krauss beckons fellow worshippers to join her down at the river in an old fashioned revival where full immersion baptism will take place. Some Southern congregations still practice river immersions today.

13. "I Say a Little Prayer" by Aretha Franklin

From the moment she wakes up and then all throughout her day, the lady in this 1968 song sends up a prayer of gratitude for the man of her life. She can't imagine how empty her life would be without him. The R&B/pop crossover song was originally recorded by Dionne Warwick the previous year and was written about a woman whose lover was at war.

14. "Pray You Catch Me" by Beyoncé

Queen Bey knows her man has been slippin' out on her because "you can taste the dishonesty." She knows the signs of infidelity and has been watching her significant other's behavior closely. She waits, prays he catches her keeping tabs on him so the fireworks can begin. Now she's praying for a showdown with the philandering man in this 2016 R&B ditty.

The song hits close to home for the diva. In real life, there were rumors for years that Jay Z was two-timing Bey. Then in 2013, the public saw the couple's seemingly perfect relationship crack with a confrontation in a hotel elevator. Beyoncé's sister Solange drop kicked Jay Z while the missus watched unaffected. Then in 2017, Mr. Carter admitted the errors of his ways with 4:44.

Now somebody needs to pray for "Becky with the good hair."

15. "Like a Prayer" by Madonna

It takes a remarkable song to stir religious groups to condemnation and prompt the Pope to call for a boycott. Although Madonna received positive marks from critics, this 1989 pop song created an uproar among some in the religious community for the way it melded religion and sex, the sacred and profane through double entendre. The controversial song topped music charts worldwide and was instrumental in helping Madonna to re-invent her image from the Material Girl pop icon to that of a more serious artist.

"Like a Prayer" describes a passionate young woman so in love with God that she perceives Him as the only male figure in her life:

When you call my name
It's like a little prayer
I'm down on my knees
I want to take you there
In the midnight hour
I can feel your power
Just like a prayer
You know I'll take you there.

16. "Pray" by Bebe Rexha

The narrator in this 2015 pop tune appeals to God and the Virgin Mary to intervene in her heartache and help her move forward. She describes her lover in terms of an addiction, specifically comparing the challenge of getting over him to trying to kick alcohol dependence.

17. "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi

This chart-topping hair metal song not only captures the spirit of the 1980s but also the commitment to pull together as a couple, sacrifice what is needed, and face challenges head-on. A Bon Jovi signature song, it's about a young working-class couple who are struggling to get by. What they lack in financial blessings they more than make up for in love. "Livin' on a Prayer" was a worldwide hit, and it became part of the Guitar Hero music video games almost two decades after its 1986 release.

18. "Praying for Time" by George Michael

Although this despairing pop tune was a global hit two decades ago (1990), its message is even more pertinent today. Our society is rife with hunger, poverty, division, and lack of compassion. According to the song, we should pray for time, as that is the only path for healing our social ills. Are you praying for time right now to heal our current societal ailments?

19. "When I Pray for You" by Dan + Shay

This tender country/Christian crossover tune from 2017 describes how impending fatherhood weighs mightily on a man's heart. The narrator addresses his unborn child and describes his unconditional love for the baby. He also references conversations with God about blessings he wants for his child and shares his sincere desire to be a good parent like his dad.

20. "Pray" by Kodaline

There's a huge hole in the life of this tune's narrator. It used to be occupied by someone he loved, but they slipped away from him. Now the man in this mournful 2013 rock song finds himself feeling empty and drinking alone. (That's never a good thing.) As he misses his loved one, he bridges the divide with prayers for them and wonders if they are also praying for him. Sadly, sometimes all the prayers in the world cannot make two people get along.

"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men." - John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men." - John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

Even More Popular Songs About Praying and Prayer

SongArtistYear Released

21. Praying for Rain

RaeLynn

2017

22. Love Letter for Fire

Iron & Wine

2016

23. Praying for Rain

Don Henley

2015

24. Raised to Pray

Tyler Farr

2015

25. Sinner

Andy Grammer

2014

26. Pray for Peace

Reba McEntire

2015

27. Pray for Me

Ty Herndon

1999

28. I Pray My Way Out of Trouble

Josh Turner

2018

29. Prayer Changes

R. Kelly

2004

30. Pray

Dierks Bentley

2009

31. Pray for a While

Trinitee 5:7

1998

32. Pray About Everything

Luke Bryan

2007

33. Pray for Rain

Bad English

1991

34. I Pray for You

Big & Rich

2005

35. Makes Me Wanna Pray

Christina Aguilera

2006

36. My Prayer

The Platters

1956

37. Let Us Pray

Elvis Presley

1971

38. Every Prayer

Tracy Lawrence

2009

39. Pray for Me

G-Eazy

2017

40. Prayer for Humanity

India.Arie

2019

41. Unanswered Prayers

Garth Brooks

1990

42. Prayer in My Pocket

Goo Goo Dolls

2016

43. Sometimes a Prayer Will Do

Secret Garden

2007

44. Sinner's Prayer

Lady Gaga

2016

45. A Mother's Prayer

Celine Dion

1999

46. Dirt Road Prayer

Lauren Alaina

2011

47. Prayer for the Little Man

Blackberry Smoke

2009

48. Prayers

Good Charlotte

2018

49. A Mother's Prayer

K. Michelle

2013

50. Housewife's Prayer

Pistol Annies

2011

51. Drunkard's Prayer

Chris Stapleton

2017

52. Pray

MC Hammer

1990

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 FlourishAnyway

Comments

peachy from Home Sweet Home on July 10, 2020:

same to you dear

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 10, 2020:

peachy - Thanks for stopping by. I hope you are doing well. Stay safe in all this pandemic mess.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on July 10, 2020:

wow, I din know there are many songs on prayer by great artiste too. Thanks for sharing

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 25, 2020:

Anupam - I'm glad you enjoyed the list. Have a wonderful week.

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on June 24, 2020:

Hey, thanks a lot dear! Amazing list you have presented. I will go through each and every suggestion of yours. I had always been fascinated about hindi songs, as I never came across the songs suggested by you. A few I listened to, and they were mind blowing.

Lots of love dear

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 01, 2020:

Peggy - I'm so glad you enjoyed the playlist. Have a magical Sunday.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 29, 2020:

This is a substantial list of songs related to prayer. The one I thought of first is The Lord's Prayer which is beautiful when sung.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on November 05, 2019:

Tamara - Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

BBYCGN from Uninhabited Regions on November 04, 2019:

A concise list of songs for a lovely subject: Prayer! Excellent ♥️

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 16, 2019:

Cynthia - I love the way you phrased that. Pretty funny.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 15, 2019:

Wow, there is quite a diversity of prayer songs here, everything from super pious stuff that could be sung by a praise team to something more akin to... uh... the other end of the spectrum. Interesting.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 01, 2019:

Devika - Thanks for stopping by.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 01, 2019:

I like these songs and learned of some new ones here. You have a challenge on lists of songs.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 13, 2019:

James - Thanks for bringing that one up! I added it. It reached #2 on the Billboard pop charts and now that you mention it, I do recall it! I didn't know he became a preacher after his music career.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 13, 2019:

Bob - Thanks for stopping by.

James C Moore from The Great Midwest on August 12, 2019:

Another creative list. Would you believe MC Hammer did a song that could belong to this list? It's called "Pray." He would become a preacher later on, so maybe that song was a sign of things to come.

Robert Sacchi on August 12, 2019:

Another great list.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 12, 2019:

Mary - Sometimes popular singers with certain reputations do surprise and I think this is one of those times! Glad you liked this.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 12, 2019:

Heidi - That's one of the nicest things someone has said to me in a while. Thank you! I am very glad to know you. I send thanks to the universe for you in return!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 12, 2019:

Dora - Thank you for your kind support. I am glad you found this beneficial. Have a wonderful week.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 12, 2019:

Linda - Alison Krauss is an amazing talent and sings a variety of genres: gospel, bluegrass, country, folk, rock, pop, etc. She'll make you rethink what you've said about not liking certain genres. Her voice is ethereal.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 12, 2019:

Pamela - Aretha is always way at the top. She was such a voice! Thank you for coming by.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 12, 2019:

Eric - Justin Bieber's song here isn't typical of his work, but I hope you liked it. Usually he sings about love, attraction, and heartache. Have fun in Tijuana.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 12, 2019:

Bronwen - Thank you for stopping by. I hope you are happy, healthy, and otherwise well. It's good to see you again!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 12, 2019:

Linda - Thanks for sharing your perspective on prayer. Some folks pray in the traditional manner, others meditate, and still others send up positive thoughts to the universe. The Platters did a cover of The Ink Spots song and I have them on the list at #36. Have a lovely week.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 12, 2019:

Yves - I have two 1970s playlists you may be interested in: love songs of the 1970s and one-hit wonders of the 1970s. Hope you are doing well!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on August 12, 2019:

I have no idea that there are so many songs on prayer. I am now listening to Justin Bieber's and was pleasantly surprised. I will listen next to Elvis.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on August 12, 2019:

I think you included every prayer song I can think of! And, of course, as soon as I saw the alert for the post, I thought of Madonna's Like A Prayer.

I'm always thanking the universe for putting together the circumstances of my like, including meeting fun people like you. I pray you have a great week!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 12, 2019:

These are really interesting lyrics. They show the variety of struggles that lead human beings to pray. Not a bad topic for a song. Quite a good topic for your list.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 12, 2019:

This is such an interesting list as I didn't know there were so many songs about prayer that weren' actually hymns sung in church. I thought there were several good songs, but I may have to put Aretha Franklin at the top as I have always loved her singing. Have a great week Flourish.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 11, 2019:

There are some lovely songs in this collection. I listened to a version of "Down to the River to Pray" by Alison Krausse. You're right–she has a lovely voice and sings the song breautifully. Thank you very much for introducing me to the music, Flourish.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 11, 2019:

Flourish I do not shop. I go get what I want. I had never seen or listened to Justin Beeber. I came back here to learn more of what you have. Muchas Gracias from down Tijuana way. I need to learn more about prayer.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on August 11, 2019:

All these messages about prayer are songs and there are so many more hymns that we sing are about prayer, too. What an amazing list you have made to add to those hymns. Enough to keep our hearts singing and praying all day long! Thank you!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on August 11, 2019:

Flourish, prayer is a significant part of my life so I was happy to see this topic. My interpretation of most of these is that people are wishing/hoping for something to happen and not necessarily offering a prayer to God. Nevertheless, it's an interesting list. I had no idea there were so many songs that contain "prayer" in the title.

If you want to go w-a-a-a-y back there's at least one more to add. The Ink Spots sang "My Prayer."

Yves on August 11, 2019:

Lol. "Pray for You" is hilarious, but I'm sure the preacher didn't mean it that way. Haha!

So, my favorite pick today is, That's Why I Pray by Big and Rich. It's a catchy tune that makes you feel like singing along. Who knows, it might even remind us to pray.

When I pray, I usually pray for my son and for overall protection for both of us. (You never know!) They say Mother's prayers are powerful so I'm sticking with that. :)

Keep up the great lists, Flourish. They should keep us busy reading and listening for a lifetime.

FYI: I'm still waiting for the classic 70's Rock list. You know, Pink Floyd and all that. They were before your time, so you'll have to do your research. But no hurry....the 70's kids have lots of patience. ;)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 11, 2019:

Bill - Thank you for stopping by. I hope this week is a wonderful one for you!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 11, 2019:

Nell - I like both of those songs as well. Madge really caused quite a ruckus with her song. It's hard to believe how old she is now which I guess says the same for me. Have a great week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 11, 2019:

Bill - For some reason, her song came late to me, but it's a beautiful one. Hope you are doing well.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 11, 2019:

Eric - You have me wondering if you're praying for the other drivers or perhaps your own safety or both? Driving is one of the most dangerous everyday activities we engage in. Not to be underestimated!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 11, 2019:

Liz - Thanks for stopping by to share your perspective. I hope you were able to find some songs that you enjoy. Have a great week!

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on August 11, 2019:

Another wonderful list, Flourish. I had no idea there were so many songs about prayer. We all need a little divine intervention in our lives every now and these songs certainly help. Great job as always.

Nell Rose from England on August 11, 2019:

So many songs with prayer or pray in the title. I never realised! I always loved Madonna's Like a prayer, and of course Bon Jovi. Great list and singalong as always!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 11, 2019:

I had trouble coming up with one. I wonder what that says about me. lol I finally got Aretha, but it took some effort.

Happy Sunday to you!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 11, 2019:

Fantastic and wonderful. I do this strange deal about constant. I think the translation from Paul is "unceasingly" maybe that really means something else. My boy and I just made a big sign on our inside of our front door. "Pray when you get in the car."

I reckon sometimes I pray for others, for me.

I will back through this Day That The Lord Has Made!

Liz Westwood from UK on August 11, 2019:

This is an interesting collection. In answer to your poll I would say a mixture of all 3, but if you take the Bible quote literally to "pray at all times" I would have to admit that I don't pray enough.

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