4 Country Songs You Can Pray With – Oldies, 90’s, and Today

4 Country Songs You Can Pray With – Oldies, 90’s, and Today January 26, 2024

Country Music to Pray With (Photo by A. Laflamme)
Country Music to Pray With (Photo by A. Laflamme)

On the Genre of Country Music

Country music is a special genre for it’s storytelling, simple form, and for its history. Almost every artist will shout out another who has gone before them and inspired them in the genre. Following that thread leads you back through eras of red dirt, western music, western swing, and more. Throughout the varying sub-genres that country music has, there seems to be a tradition that recognizes and recreates hymns and gospel music using the simpler styles.

You don’t have to look hard to find Christian Country music. The number of country gospel albums is too many to name – though I won’t resist mentioning a few later.

For this list, I decided just to drop a few songs that I appreciate and that are country songs you can pray with, Audio Divina style. Here is the playlist if you’d like to follow along: Country Songs You Can Pray With.

4 Country Songs You Can Pray With

These are in no particular order, but I will jump around within the genre: new, old, gospel, and not. Enjoy!

1. Love Without End, Amen by George Strait

With Love Without End, Amen, George Strait and Aaron Barker kicked off what I would argue is the best decade of popular country music, 90’s country.

If you don’t know the song, it is a touching story of the singer, learning a less, passing it on, then applying it. The pattern reminds me of the biblical perspectives of historical, moral, and eschatological.

After a fight at school, the singer worried about what his father would say. In anticipation for justice, he receives mercy and love. This experience of fatherhood impacts the character so that he goes on to raise his boy with the same advice:

“Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love.
A secret that my daddy said was just between us.
He said daddies don’t just love their children every now and then.
It’s a love without end, amen.
It’s a love without end, amen.”

Love Without End, Amen by George Strait

Lastly, the key changes and goes up. Final verse key changes are common in country from Amarillo by Morning to Tayler Swift’s “Love Story“; however, this key change has a little more symbolism. We move up in the scale as the same man who is now a father himself, dreams that he goes to heaven.

It’s in the final verse that this man realizes his strongest identity is still as a child and that if he and his earthly father can show mercy, how much greater will the mercy be of the Heavenly Father.

Other George Strait Hits

While Love Without End, Amen is my favorite, it was hard not to include more of George on the list. If you love this song, you’d like I Saw God Today. This song has similar themes of reflecting on the spirituality of parenthood.

2. I Can’t Even (Walk Without You Holding My Hand) by Cody Johnson

Cody Johnson, to me, is becoming more and more what George Strait was to his generation. He has hit songs with a strong voice and a classic country sound. Many of his albums will feature a gospel style song to wrap it up, so definitely check out his others as well.

The song that I think inspires the most reflection is this, I Can’t Even Walk (Without You Holding Hand)

The message is simple, but today we fall into the trap of thinking that we are accomplishing things on our own. We depend on ourselves until we fail and realize that we need Jesus. The first verse expresses that well:

“I thought number one would surely be me
I thought I could be what I wanted to be
I thought I could build on life’s sinking sand
But now I can’t even walk without you holding my hand”

Then we have another one of those whole step key changes to rise and create a more powerful verse:

“I think I’ll make Jesus my all and all.
And if I’m in trouble on His name I’ll call.
If I didn’t trust him I’d be less of a man,
‘Cause Lord I can’t even walk without You holding my hand”

I Can’t Even Walk (Without You Holding My Hand) by Cody Johnson

These are definitely lyrics that you can pray with and sing with heart.

3. Beautiful Rose by Sean McConnell

Sean McConnell is another artist today who is putting Christian imagery into his work which regularly includes honest reflections and revelations of truth.

This song is all about reflecting on God’s Providence, how He knows more than us, and through all of the difficulties that we experience there is a Good beyond what we could imagine. The lyrics of the song look back with gratitude for a life lived and appreciation for where we are today.

This verse always hits me the hardest:

“Well I heard you can make God laugh by telling him the plans you have.
And now I know that to be true cause I could never dream of you.
Praise the Lord there’s something more than what we think we’re fighting for.
And think what we’d be missing if we only got what we were wishing for.”

Beautiful Rose by Sean McConnell

This message always reminds me of how we can’t pick our family with all of the wild personalities mixed together. Even if we could choose our kids personalities and so on, life would not be as beautiful as it is, the way God designed.

4. I’ll Fly Away, Old Rugged Cross, Just A Closer Walk… by Various Artists

Okay, I am cheating because I cannot decide on a 4th song. Instead, I will use this slot to point out some great artists and entire albums that can lift your soul. That way, better than a single song, you can have prayerful music for longer stretches in the background.

I mentioned that mix of country and gospel. For as long as we’ve had country music, it’s simple instruments and format have been used for prayer and gospel music. You can see this by searching for some classic gospel hymns and seeing just how many covers are done by various artists.

Old Rugged Cross - Various Artists
Old Rugged Cross, Various Artists (screenshot by A. Laflamme)

Some great songs for this kind of comparing different styles would be I’ll Fly Away, Old Rugged Cross, Just A Closer Walk With Thee. I’ve linked these to versions I like, Hank Williams, Wade Bowen, and Patsy Cline; but you can find so many versions

Once you find an artist’s sound that you enjoy, you can likely get more because many of these singers have entire albums dedicated to their faith that will have more of these classics along with original songs.

Country, a Genre You Can Pray With

So I have covered metal music* which may be harder for some people to pray with, unless they’re in an intense work out. And now I’ve covered some country music for listeners who like the western style. I think any genre could facilitate reflection and prayer if made with sincerity and truth in mind. What are some other good songs worth think and praying about?

To clarify, these would be recommendations for devotional prayer (see this article for a breakdown of devotional vs. liturgical, evangelization, or culture). Maybe a post in the future would be called for to cover music for Holy Mass, but that is not what these lists have been.

*For the metal / punk / hardcore version of this list, here are 4 Metal Songs Anyone Can Pray With.

Read more Formed by a Flame or Subscribe to the Newsletter!

About Andrew Laflamme
Andrew is a husband and father. With experience as an engineer, musician, and Catholic missionary. You can read more about the author here.
"Thanks for sharing! I’ll take a listen."

Genre of Faith – A Christian ..."
"Trying again...Song: PrayerAlbum: Gift of Tears"

Genre of Faith – A Christian ..."
"My reply was marked as spam.https://youtu.be/8ktfOwtm_Z...https://youtu.be/zENXZYhY_v..."

Genre of Faith – A Christian ..."
"Ame, I have not heard of them but I will look them up. Is there ..."

Genre of Faith – A Christian ..."

Browse Our Archives