Justin Bieber’s “Pray”

Have you seen what video just moved up to the #1 downloaded video on iTunes?

It’s a song called “Pray” from Justin Bieber.

Here’s a snippet of the lyrics.

Children are crying.
Soldiers are dying
Some people don’t have a home
But I know there’s sunshine behind that rain
I know there’s good times behind 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

The video gives a glimpse of soldiers with their families, homeless people, and poor children on the street– all this mixed with shots of Justin interacting with needy people… and him praying. You can take a peek at it here.

I have two reactions to this video, and the fact that it’s at the top of the iTunes chart:

1. Excitement. The number one spot in the video charts aren’t often held by a clean video. Look at other videos that hit #1 this year: Teenage Dream, OMG, Like a G6… the list goes on (David and I are actually writing a Youth Culture Window article right now reviewing all the #1 songs of the year). Bieber’s “Pray” is not only a nice break from the typical racy content of #1, it’s wholesome and uplifting. Thanks Justin, truly.

2. Hesitation. Yes, I’m always a little scared when celebs speak out about prayer and their faith, simply because so many of these celebs turn around a month or two later and live out the exact opposite. Most followers of Christ probably feel a little bit burned and hurt by the “Gospel according to Hollywood.” But I’m not going to throw stones at Justin in any way here. I don’t know him at all, and I haven’t seen put out anything really racy. Let’s just say… I’m holding my breath. (…and just closing my eyes to pray!)

The video ends with these words… some great advice to us all:

God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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3 Responses to Justin Bieber’s “Pray”

  1. Jason says:

    Well said. I hold the same conflicting feelings that you do. I’m glad the video is #1 and hopefully teens will be able to have some great conversations with their lost friends as a result of it. However, when we put our hope in men (or boys named Bieber) we are consistently let down.

  2. Greg says:

    is there a way to tweet or facebook this article/blog/post?

    great discussion from song and footage can happen…and what teens can do…truly are the leaders of today.

  3. Roy says:

    I continue to pray that Justin Beiber holds to his Christian roots. I’m a youth pastor in Ontario, Canada and our Asst. Pastor at the church was Justin’s Jr. High Pastor. So I know he’s had good teaching a good foundation. Some of his comments and this song show that God is still pulling him, but the lure of Hollywood is strong. Pray!