6-foot-7-inch Arkansas native Matt Stell played college basketball for Drury University for four years on an athletic scholarship. He taught himself to play guitar and sing while at college, moonlighting at local venues under a pseudonym (Paul Wayne Walker) so his basketball coach wouldn't find out.
In 2014, Stell moved to Nashville after signing a publishing deal with Wide Open Music. This ballad is the lead single from his major label debut EP, Everywhere But On.
Stell wrote "Prayed For You" with Allison Veltz and producer Ash Bowers. The song finds him longing to find his lifetime companion.
Every single day, before I knew your name
I couldn't see your face, but I prayed for you
Every tail light fade in the goodbye rain
Girl even today, I prayed for you
It was Allison Veltz, who came up with the idea for the song. A week prior to their session, Veltz had met the man who would later become her husband. Still riding high, she offered up the chorus hook.
This is bigger than I could fathom
I didn't know you from Adam
But I prayed for you
Stell and the other songwriters then developed the idea, thinking not only about their relationships, but the times they created opportunities for good things to happen.
Stell told ABC Radio the references to prayer are about being grateful for His blessings. "In terms of the religious component of that, I owe a big debt of gratitude to everyone around me and a higher power because the cards have fallen in my favor in such a way that I don't deserve it at all," he said.
"It's really a gratitude thing, and a perseverance thing," Stell added. "And to me those are lessons I took from the church house."