"The Prayer" was popular on the adult contemporary charts in Canada and the United States, peaking at number 8 and number 22 respectively. It has also become popular during Christmas, and in some cases, funerals.
Paul Verna from Billboard called this song a "gorgeous duet." Chuck Taylor from Billboard reviewed "The Prayer", calling it "a breathtaking, ultra-lush song, and the tour de force combination of Dion and Bocelli [which] will send a half-dozen chills up your spine." Although he felt that the song is "an unorthodox track for the radio," Taylor called it "affecting," "heartwarming," "absolutely exquisite" and "one of Dion's most radiant performances ever."
Callea first performed this song during Australian Idol 2004, in the week of 'contestants choice'. He received a standing ovation for this performance. 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.
Andrea Ross sings the song with English-only lyrics on her debut album Moon River (2007)
RyanDan, the Canadian identical twin duo recorded it on their self-titled debut album in 2007. It was dedicated to their mother who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (the song was one of her favourite songs ever).
Peter Jöback and Sarah Dawn Finer performed the duet in Swedish, as "Min Bön", which appears on Jöback's 2008 Christmas album En god jul och ett gott nytt år
Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban also sang the duet at the 2008 Grammys in honor of the life of Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti who had died previously that year
Toshi, vocalist of Japanese Band X-Japan, released on the CD "Toshi Duet I" (September 30, 2008, with Tierra and Kaori Moritani). The lyrics have been completely rewritten by Toru "Masaya" Kurabuchi.
Chris M. Allport and Ariana Richards released their single version in December 2008. This recording is available on CD and as a digital download. A portion of the proceeds of this record are donated to the David Foster Foundation.
Christina Aguilera and Chris Mann performed the song on the NBC reality singing competition The Voice. A studio recording was released, and entered the Billboard Hot 100 singles at No. 85 and No. 35 on the digital singles chart.