THESE days, Gary Valenciano utters many prayers. He does so unselfishly, at a difficult time when many seek hope and healing through faith.
The 57-year-old artist, known as a devout Christian, was recently introduced as the first Filipino ambassador of the prayer app, Pray.com. Pray.com was launched in 2017, reaching more than 10 million people globally. It became the most-downloaded religious app of all time in 2020.
Valenciano joins the likes of distinguished artists and international celebrities such as Kristine Bell and James Earl Jones, among others. In May, he performed during the United States’ celebration of the National Day of Prayer, with US President Joe Biden as a guest of honor.
“I want to encourage everyone—no matter what you are going through—to take a moment, stop and pray. Prayer doesn’t have to be complicated. Start a conversation with God who loves you, God who is everywhere, God who knows you and hears your every cry,” said Valenciano.
“The Word promises—we can approach His throne of grace and always, we will find help in our time of need; He who has promised is so much more than able,” he added.
Valenciano also reminds people to trust in God during times of great uncertainty.
“[This] is not meant to destroy us but to break us enough, so we can allow His hands to put us back together again,” he said.
“When we allow His hands to put us back together again, then He restores. And when He restores, He doesn’t restore back to the former. He restores beyond that.”
“When you pray, you are not just saying words. You are praying to the One who knows exactly the strands of hair you have on your head. When you pray, open up that avenue that only you and Him journey off together to combat those anxious moments in your life.”
Some of Valenciano’s compositions have become timeless classics, such as the multi-platinum hits “Shout for Joy,” “Take Me Out of the Dark,” as well as his vocal renditions of “Lead Me Lord” and “I Will Be Here.”
More recently he released a song of praise, titled “Make Us Whole Again.” Written in the summer of 2020, the song is Valenciano’s way of expressing his journey in this ongoing pandemic, grappling with hope and fear, life and death, frailties and faith.
Here, he recalls the anxiety he felt when he had bypass surgery and battled cancer three years ago. “We were relying on a perfect God and not on something that we were holding on to or what was promised to us, not in a job, not even in a person. It was in Christ, who does things we can’t even imagine,” Valenciano said.
“I kept thinking about it, but He said, ‘Do not be anxious about anything.’ He knows that I will struggle and I won’t be perfect, but we rely on a perfect God so that’s what matters.”
Pray.com CEO and cofounder Steve Gatena thanked Valenciano for agreeing to join the Christian app as its ambassador.
“It’s clear that God has blessed Gary with a miraculous voice that is full of love, hope and encouragement. What was surprising to me was his willingness to pray with us. It was just an incredible blessing to have Gary on Pray.com.”
Gatena added, “To those of you experiencing these struggles, hear my voice. You can win the fight and you can harness the power of prayer. I encourage you to pray. I encourage you to remember that God is always with you. The Bible tells us that the grass withers, the flowers fade. The word of our God will stand forever.”
Pray.com is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.