Callea first performed this song during Australian Idol 2004, in the week of 'contestants choice'. He received a standing ovation for this performance and the "Grand Royal Touchdown" from judge Mark Holden. He would go on to be runner-up in this series.
At the completion of the show, Callea was signed to Sony BMG, and he released "The Prayer" as his debut single.
It was released in Australia on 19 December 2004 and debuted at number 1 on the ARIA Charts. It stayed there for five weeks and was certified 4x platinum by ARIA. It became the fastest-selling single by any Australian artist, and was the second highest selling single in Australia in the last decade overall, and for an Australian artist. The song was included on Callea's debut album Anthony Callea.
Callea has performed "The Prayer" at numerous concerts as well as the Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne. In 2006, he performed the song in front of Queen Elizabeth at a Commonwealth Day Service He also performed it as a duet with Tina Arena on her Symphony of Life CD/DVD, released in 2012.
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