As the conflict continues in Gaza and Israel, and as world tensions rise in Ukraine and beyond, Reba McEntire is looking up for an answer in her latest song and video, “Pray for Peace” – new music she is releasing for free to create awareness.
“The idea to write the song ‘Pray for Peace’ came to me last year as I was walking on our place in Gallatin, Tennessee. For days I’d sing, ‘Pray for Peace’ over and over,” McEntire, 59, shared on her website, where the song can be downloaded for free. “It wasn’t until several months later did the other parts start to fall in place. Some, not until we got into the studio to record it.”
McEntire tells PEOPLE Country exclusively that the feedback she’s already getting is powerful.
“In a way, I’m totally amazed at the response. And in another way, I’m not because I knew this was a message that people would receive and share,” she says.
Although her intent is not political, “It’s very timely,” McEntire tells PEOPLE. “We had no way of knowing what would be happening in the world when we decided to release the video this week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and families of the Malaysia Airlines flight as we continue to pray for peace.”
Joining McEntire on the hymn-like anthem, which encourages “a better outcome for the world,” is her daughter-in-law and new mom Kelly Clarkson, who noted on Twitter she was “so honored” to be asked to join the project.
And as many others around the world join the Oklahoma-born country superstar to lean on faith in a difficult time, McEntire humbly says recording the song and video have left her feeling blessed.
“I feel this song is a gift from God,” she says. “I have never worked on a song as long as this one. It went from a bass drum, fiddle and singers to guest artists singing with me, adding more instruments and even a choir and a bagpipe!” she noted.
Other fans of McEntire are getting in on the action to support her worthy cause, including Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman and their daughters, Faith Margaret and Sunday Rose, who recorded their own “prayer” video.
McEntire says she welcomes their involvement and that of her fans around the world, whose prayerful images she featured throughout the video – from the Washington Monument to the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia to the famed Gateway Arch in St. Louis and New York City’s new Freedom Tower.
“It’s an act of perseverance, prayer, hope, fellowship and mostly love,” McEntire says of her song.