"The Millennium Prayer" is a song recorded by English singer Cliff Richard, where the words of "The Lord's Prayer" are set to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne". It was released in November 1999 as a charity single in the lead up to the new millennium. The single became a surprise hit reaching number 1 in the UK Singles Chart, number 2 in Australia and New Zealand, number 3 in Ireland, and the top 20 in a number of European countries.
The original adaption of "The Lord's Prayer" to "Auld Lang Syne" was created by composer Paul Field and writer Stephen Deal as the finale to the Christian musical Hopes & Dreams (a Share Jesus International production). The original recording of the song, also sung by Richard, featured on the musical's soundtrack album Hopes & Dreams: A New Musical For A New Millennium released in January 1999. Paul Field had also told Richard of his wife's suggestion, "that it would make a great Christmas single for Cliff." Richard took up the suggestion and recorded a new version for release as a single in the lead up to Christmas, with Field hearing of the recording from Richard after it had been recorded.
Controversy began even before the single was released. Richard's own label EMI refused to release it, so Richard used the independent record label Papillon Records for the release, with the proceeds of the single going to the charity Children's Promise. Upon release, the song was panned by the critics and many radio stations refused to play it.
Richard performed the song exclusively on the TV program An Audience with... Cliff Richard before a music video had been made for it. Richard reportedly asked, during breaks, for a room with a camera and green screen; he would then record all of the footage of him to be used in the video for "The Millennium Prayer" in less than an hour.
The song was beaten to the British Christmas number-one single for 1999 by Westlife, having been No. 1 for the three preceding weeks. It was also Richard's 14th UK No. 1 hit, his 112th hit overall, the third highest-selling single of his career. However, a 2004 VH1 poll labeled it the worst No. 1 record of all time. The song also reached No. 2 in a similar poll in 2003 run by Channel 4. The song won the Ivor Novello Award for the best selling single of 1999. Richard released the single with neutral view stating it was a way in which people could unite, regardless of their belief system or religion they adhere to.