David Archuleta might have first risen to fame as the runner-up on American Idol's seventh season in 2008, but the singer-songwriter is proving to be more than just a performer. Sharing with fans over the summer his plans to release a children's book ahead of the holiday season, Archuleta's latest project is on its way with My Little Prayer, out Oct. 12. In an exclusive with PopCulture.com this past August, the 30-year-old shared how the book inspired by his 2016 album of the same name and faith led to the motivation behind the text of a little boy who prays to be chosen for the soccer team. However, when he isn't, he learns God has an expected answer for that prayer.
"Of course, I get excited about music, but I'm just so excited for this book because I love kids and I was just thinking about my nieces and my nephews, and if I have kids in the future, that they'll have something that is important," he told PopCulture. "As you know, there's nothing more important to me than my relationship with my Heavenly Father, and so if I can leave that as a history, but something that they can relate to and digest, it just makes me so happy. I want to leave people with hope and with an opportunity to have a relationship with God, or however they understand what God is. Because nothing fulfills me more than that."
Archuleta shares that the inspiration came from his time as a missionary in Chile, where he worked for two years in the middle of his career. "I took a break, and the number one thing that I did, I shared my faith with people and taught them about Christ," he said. "But the number one thing that we, most common, other than singing for them, was teaching them how to pray. Because even though a lot of people believe there's a God and they believe in God themselves, there are so many people who had never said a prayer in their life, so they didn't know how to talk to Him."
Sharing how he had the song in a dream, he adds it was then that he thought he should release the song because it will "help people know what it's like to pray" and be a helpful tool in establishing a spiritual connection. "I felt like I didn't try and write it. It was just how it was, how I would have said it, and I was like, maybe this can help people know that it's okay for them to pray and that you don't always get what you hoped for, but you can still talk to Him and learn," he said. "So, I wanted to be able to teach kids how to pray, and just showed them what it's like and show them that there's disappointment. But sometimes you maybe ask for one thing, but you ended up getting something else that is so much more filling for you, and that God's always there and He does hear your prayer, no matter how small you might feel and so that was the hope with this book, and with the song as well."
This past June, Archuleta revealed to fans and followers during a Good Morning America interview that he has come to accept God's unexpected answer to his own prayer in finding out who he is. Coming out on social media, Archuleta revealed he now considers himself a part of the LGBTQ community, describing himself as likely, but not certainly, bisexual. "I think I was a lot more scared before because I always felt there was something that I had to keep to myself. There's so much relief to not feel like you have to hide a part of yourself, like a secret," he told the ABC morning show. "I was praying like God, you can do all things. You are a God of miracles. And I know you've allowed the blind to see and he rose — the dead to rise again. And I thought, you know, if I do everything I'm supposed to, maybe he can change me as well. So I would say, 'Please take these feelings away from me because I don't want to. I don't want to feel things I shouldn't. I don't want to feel things that would be wrong.'
"So that's been the process I've had to learn how to love myself, even when I don't understand why I'm the way I am but to learn that's how God has created me," Archuleta continued. "And I have to discover that, and there's so many millions of other people who've gone through the same thing as me where they've tried to change who they are."
My Little Prayer, released by children's publishers Bushel & Peck, follows the book-for-book promise that donates a book to children in need for every book sold. My Little Prayer is out Oct. 12 and available for pre-order at all digital retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.