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Dan + Shay Recall Emotional ‘When I Pray for You’ Writing Session [Exclusive Video]

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The movie The Shack is due out on Friday (March 3), and in advance of the film’s release, Dan + Shay are opening up about the brand-new song they wrote for the movie, called “When I Pray for You.” Readers can watch the exclusive video above to hear Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney’s thoughts on the tune and the film.

After seeing an advance screening of The Shack, Smyers and Mooney wrote “When I Pray for You” with Justin Ebach and Jon Nite. Both Smyers and Mooney were going through big moments in their lives — Smyers got engaged in November, while Mooney proposed in August and welcomed a son, Asher James, in January — and the movie, Mooney says, “had a pretty strong impact on us.”

“It was amazing to see the whole story and be able to experience that. It’s very moving …,” Mooney adds. “It really touched both of us on a deep level.”

“When I Pray for You” is simple and poignant, all about a soon-to-be-father praying for his child: “I talk to God about you / And haven’t even met you yet / Everybody’s waiting on you / Can’t wait to feel your heartbeat,” sing Dan + Shay. “When I lay you on my chest / I’m already holding back my tears / I wanna be the dad that my dad was / I hope that I don’t mess this whole thing up.” When the duo wrote the song, their co-writers had both recently had children, Smyers recalls, so they all put themselves in that frame of mind.

“It was just one of those inspiring writes; I think there were some tears flowing,” Smyers continues. “It felt right … It’s special to have a song that’s so personal and so close to us be a part of The Shack.”

“When I Pray for You” matches the theme of The Shack, which follows the spiritual journey of a man after the tragic loss of his daughter. In its chorus, Dan + Shay sing, “I pray you love like your mama / You forgive just like she does / When this life knocks you down, I hope you get down on your knees ’cause that’s what I do / That’s what I do / When I pray for you.”

The soundtrack for The Shack also includes original songs from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum and Brett Eldredge; it was released on Feb. 24. More information about The Shack, including nearby show times, is available on the film’s official website.

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NEXT: See a Trailer for 'The Shack'

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