Our take: LDS Living readers recently selected their 100 favorite LDS songs (excluding hymns). This article shares the background behind the top three songs: "A Child's Prayer," "His Hands" and "I Heard Him Come." The complete list of songs can be found here.
1. "A Child's Prayer"
During a time of frustration over a seemingly unanswered prayer, Janice Kapp Perry wrote a song called "Lord, Are You There?" She later decided to write a children’s version, which she entitled "A Child’s Prayer."
"We are all human and occasionally wonder, in difficult times, if the Lord is really there to hear and answer our prayers," she says. Perry has received many touching letters through the years from people who have had personal experiences with this song. One mother related that when her small child needed an MRI, they could not get him to lie still until she promised to entertain him with Primary songs. He said, "Okay, I’ll go first," and then started singing "A Child’s Prayer," which brought tears to the doctors’ eyes.
Perry also had a very personal experience with this song in July 1998. "Just three days after my husband and I returned from the Tabernacle Choir’s European tour, we were involved in a serious car accident in which the front of my throat was badly ruptured and was bleeding internally," she recalls. "At a time when I was finding it difficult to speak, swallow, and breathe, I was told by hospital personnel that I needed to lie flat and absolutely still for thirty minutes while a CAT-scan assessed the damage to my neck. I desperately searched for something to calm me emotionally. I closed my eyes and repeated these words over and over in my mind for the duration of the test: ‘Pray, He is there; speak, He is listening. You are His child, His love now surrounds you.’ Surgery and rest eventually healed my throat, but the words of the song calmed my spirit at a critical time."
She adds, "Over the years, it has become clear that this song is the people’s favorite. Of the thirteen hundred songs I’ve written, this is my favorite, too."
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