HPN wants to start the year with a commitment to UNITY. We ask that you join us wherever you are in the world in the spirit of unity and not to let yourself or others talk against Hollywood or the people here. Remember to ask the Lord to bless the people in the entertainment industry, touch their hearts, bring loving Christians around them to share His hope, and to build up the community of believers here. Let’s start here, as Actress Meagan Good has publically asked the Christian community to love Kanye West.
Happy New Year! We have a great year ahead of us in Hollywood, and we look forward to all that the Lord is going to do with us, in us, through us, because of us and even despite us! Let’s begin 2014 with a commitment to PRAY!
• Thanks so much to all of you who joined our HPN Giving Team and contributed to our end-of-the-year $20 challenge. We are SO grateful and thrilled to tell you that we ended 2013 with enough to start out 2014 with thanks! We can’t tell you what it means to us to have such a growing team of faithful pray-ers and generous givers! THANK YOU!
• 2014 is the year for the Biblical epic in theatres. Keep praying for the upcoming films that point people to God’s stories and His truth. The first one to open is Son of God, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. Let’s ask God to use Mark and Roma’s influence to point people to Jesus as they promote their film around the country and in Hollywood.
Read more of the January 2013 Monthly Prayer Newsletter
Check out this awesome interview with Zachary Levi from Relevant Magazine…a great example of how the Lord uses Christians in Hollywood!
For Zachary Levi, there has never been a backup plan.
For the 22-year-old actor and co-star of the ABC sitcom Less Than Perfect, acting was his calling; it was what he was supposed to do. After being cast in supporting roles in two NBC sitcom pilots (which weren’t picked up) and the TV movie Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie, Levi wasn’t satisfied. As a Christian in Hollywood, the most intensely competitive atmosphere in the entertainment world, he is constantly working to maintain both his positive attitude and his personal ministry in a jaded industry.
[RELEVANT magazine:] You were a mainstay in the Ojai Theater for several years doing The Outsiders, Godspell and other plays. What did you learn from live theater that is helping your career now?
[Zachary Levi:] Theater has been my entire training process because I never took any acting classes—any kind of conventional training. I learned everything that I know now from doing constant theater, working with different directors, writers and other actors. The actor that I am today would not exist had it not been for everyone that I’ve worked with before, God working within me, constantly keeping my eyes and my ears open to act as a sponge to soak that stuff up and then be able to spit it out when I needed to.
[RM:] Was your family involved in your acting at that point? How did they encourage you?
[ZL:] My family was always very supportive. Whether you’re an actor or not, everybody hears the horror stories of people going to L.A. and trying to be an actor, and their dreams are crushed, and they end up working for the IRS. So they were always protective to the point that they wanted me to have a backup plan, which is understandable, but there was always something inside of me that knew: backup plan, schmackup plan.
[RM:] Before Less Than Perfect you were a hard-working actor in Hollywood like a lot of people are today. What advice would you give others about going to audition after frustrating audition?
[ZL:] The first advice that I would give is to really spend time in prayer to make sure that this is exactly what God wants you to be doing and not just something that you really feel like you should be doing. Many times I have come home from a really devastating audition, and I’d be really thoroughly depressed because it was a role that I really was hoping for. I realized how crucial having a walk with God was because I could turn around and say, “It didn’t happen, but obviously it wasn’t God’s will.” People who don’t have God in their lives only have themselves to blame. So they look back at the audition and they say, “I didn’t do a good enough job.” But so often it has nothing to do with how good you did in the audition; it has to do with the fact that you’re a brunette and they were looking for a blonde. So, to me, the most important factor in all of the rejection was that I had a walk with God. As far as being an actor is concerned, you have to have passion. If you’re not bringing the passion of the character into the room with you, you might as well not come into the room at all.
[RM:] Now you’re part of one of the hottest casts in TV, and you’re playing the role of the archenemy. How have the last few months been for you?
[ZL:] It has been really crazy. You get free stuff; you get to be in the newspaper, in magazine articles and on television shows. It’s weird. To me, it hasn’t all completely sunk in yet. But at the same, I hope it never does. I hope it never completely sinks in. I hope there’s always at least a small part of me that’s always surprised, always taken aback, always childlike or innocent in the whole process.
[RM:] Is it hard to maintain that innocence in this environment?
[ZL:] Overall, as a human beings its hard to maintain that innocence. Even now sometimes I’ll find myself in a situation, and I’ll think to myself—and not in a really negative way but—“I wonder if they know who I am.” And not like, “Don’t you know who I am?” like I’m this huge guy, but I wonder if they know if that I am this guy on this TV show, more out of curiosity than anything else. But the problem is that the curiosity, in an instant, can turn into conceitedness. To me that’s what makes putting on the full armor of God everyday so important. Even saying that right now I feel like such a hypocrite, because reading your Bible and really spending alone time in prayer with the Lord every day, I stumble in that.
[RM:] Is Hollywood a difficult atmosphere to be in as a Christian?
[ZL:] Absolutely. The atmosphere in Hollywood in general is very anti-conservative, very anti-Christian. The liberal segment of Hollywood, which is 80 percent of it if not more, they look at Christians as hypocrites that are false and fake. The tough part is that in many cases I can’t argue with them. My job on my set, I believe, is to first just love people and gain that trust with people where they know that I really do love them and care about their well-being, so that when they are running into problems, they will hopefully, at some point, come to me and ask me, “What is your peace all about? What is your comfort all about? Where do you get your love? Where do you get your talents? And I can turn to them and say without blinking, “Jesus Christ.”
You can’t just come out there and say “Hey, I’m a Christian, and I’m gonna beat you into thinking the way that I do.” You can’t do that. It’s not about manipulation so much as it’s about getting in on someone’s life on the ground floor. So more than anything, that’s what I’m trying to do now. Just build relationships with everyone that I work with.
I’m often asked why I founded Hollywood Prayer Network, and why I think it’s worth spending so much time trying to get people praying for Hollywood. My answer is because I believe, as Oswald Chambers did, that “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”
I am excited to be a part of any solid book about prayer, but Get Prayer and Get It All actually got me more excited about prayer than I’ve been for a long time. It rang true to three areas of passion for me that I think are very important to our faith: wanting ALL of God is the driving force of my faith; understanding my relationship with my FATHER in heaven and on earth is the key to our culture, our church, and my personal walk; and needing God desperately, and knowing that’s right where He wants me, is my daily focus. Rick Padgett touched my heart with deep truths that we all need to know.
I particularly responded to Get Prayer and Get It All because—as I continue to learn more about prayer on my journey as a producer and a Christian in Hollywood—I appreciate books that go right to the core of the issue. If we are not completely sold out to God, if we don’t need Him desperately, if we don’t put Him above all else, then we are missing out on the abundant life that God promises us as His followers. And I believe the only way to experience that is through prayer.
I have lived through so many experiences I know I would not have gotten through without prayer. When our 22-year-old healthy, handsome, and talented son, Christopher, was 8 years old, he started having horrible headaches. They got so bad he could only lie down, and then he started vomiting. We brought him in to have a CT scan and we knew it was serious when his pediatrician came out from the testing room crying. She told us that he had a brain tumor in his head the size of an orange.
That day changed our whole life. Three days later, on Sunday, the day before major brain surgery, my husband, Jim, and I felt utterly spent. We had done all the needed preparations including choosing a doctor, a hospital, checking on our insurance, and committing to an approach we thought would be the best to beat this cancer. We turned to one another knowing we now were feeling the heavy weight of the circumstances and our son’s impending life-or-death surgery.
At 11 a.m. that Sunday, even though our circumstances hadn’t changed in any way, my husband and I suddenly both felt we had hope. Something lifted from us and we could feel more strength physically. We felt that way quite tangibly for the next two hours. By 1 p.m. we knew that, regardless of the outcome, God was faithful, He was in control, and we had to let go of our boy and trust him into God’s hands.
The next day our 8-year-old son had surgery. Miraculously, the surgeon was able to remove the entire tumor. There were no side effects and, even better yet, no needed chemo or radiation. Four days later he left the hospital, missed only two weeks of third grade gym class, and after 10 years of clean MRIs, it was over!
A few days after Christopher’s surgery, we learned that the previous Sunday— when my husband and I suddenly felt God had changed our hearts—a group of dear friends had gathered together from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to pray for us and for Christopher. Their two hours of prayer physically lifted us up and gave us the hope and strength to keep going. That experience changed me forever. When it comes to prayer, I am ALL IN, without a doubt, without wavering or hesitating. God has given ALL of Himself to us, so how can we do anything other than give our ALL to Him?
As you read this devotional, I urge you to embrace God’s ALL. You may not know it yet, but all of us need Him desperately. Only then can He do miraculous works in our life—when we seek Him, depend on Him, and get out of the way. So, my prayer for you, as the reader of this book, is to turn to prayer and get God’s ALL!
Hollywood Prayer Network
Click HERE to get your copy of “Get Prayer and Get It All” today!
Happy October. It’s an exciting time to be praying for the entertainment industry. Remember as you pray this month that every prayer for another person changes his or her life!
• Praise God that the #1 reality show is about a Christian family
• Keep praying for Miley Cyrus
• For all of you with Gmail, we don’t want to lose you
• Pray for action film director Jerry Bruckheimer
• Pray for the people involved in the MTV EMA (Europe Music Awards)
• Pray for Billy Graham, who turns 95 this month
• Pray for God to guide film content with Biblical themes
• Integrity is a fascinating word that’s often missing in Hollywood
• Pray for Louis C.K. and entertainment families
• May prayer become the foundation of the Christian life in Hollywood
• Pray for HPN Norway
• Update from HPN Gold Coast, Australia
• Pray that HPN experiences exponential growth in all areas
• Don’t miss the upcoming events
Read more of the September 2013 Monthly Prayer Newsletter
Happy Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur! The school year has officially begun, making it feel like the New Year to many of us. So, let’s pray this month with a new vigor and expect God to do miracles in what we believe is the YEAR OF MIRACLES – 2013!
• HPN was at the recent MegaFest Family & Faith Festival
• Last week was the very successful LA Week of Prayer
• Continue praying for Meagan Marriott
• Let’s pray for the Jewish people
• Pray for Wang Jianlin, owner of AMC Theatres & richest man in China
• Pray for all of the young people who come into our industry
• Pray specifically for 13 year old actress, Bailee Madison
• Join Joel at FPCH to pray for 20 days for Hollywood 20-year-olds
• September is Fashion Month across the globe
• Please pray for HPN chapter directors, Suzanna Storey & Chuck Paris
• Pray for the array of new films & TV shows with Biblical themes
• Pray for an end to the increased suicides in Hollywood
• Pray for the Lord to lead thousands & millions more Christians to HPN
• Pray for the Justice Ball on Sept. 24th in Hollywood
• Don’t miss the upcoming events in our community!
Read more of the September 2013 Monthly Prayer Newsletter
Intercession – A Call to Pray For Hollywood
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17
As a Christian entertainment professional, I have known many people to curse Hollywood, question the faith of Christians who work in the entertainment industry and boycott the secular companies who are creating much of our nation’s and our world’s media and entertainment. And these are often the same people who commission their church’s overseas missionaries, support them financially and faithfully pray over the names on their church’s missions prayer calendar each month. There is a disconnect between praying for some Christians and yet cursing others.
How can this be? For God sent His Son into the WHOLE world, not to condemn it, but to save EVERYONE who believes. Our job as Christians should be to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:14-16). For Jesus tells us, “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7-9). That means even Hollywood.
So why do people curse entertainment professionals in Hollywood, yet pray for cannibals in far off tribes across the globe? Why do we send missionaries to far corners of the earth and yet tell Christians heading to Hollywood that they’ll be compromising their faith? It’s spiritual battle.
Hollywood is the world’s most influential mission field and our adversary does not want Christians to impact the people who are influencing every people group on the planet. So, he gets us to hate Hollywood, get angry at its leaders and stay far away from that evil place. We even over-spiritualize it and say that we are told to flee from evil, and yet we don’t recall Jonah who got sent into Nineveh, Paul who went into Rome, and even Jesus who spent more time with tax collectors and pagans than he did his own disciples.
We have to know that Hollywood is not Sodom and Gomorrah, it can be redeemed. And as a church, we need to send Christians into the secular entertainment industry, as marketplace missionaries, and commission them to be salt and light in a place that creates and shapes our culture. We need to support struggling Christian artists financially, like we do any other Christians around the globe. And we need to understand the power of the media and believe that our prayers and support for the Christians working in Hollywood will have an eternal impact.
Hollywood creates and sends out messages every moment of every day, to audiences everywhere on this earth. We can either turn a deaf ear to what’s already happening, or we can pray for the people in Hollywood, send solid Christians with creative talent into the city to work side by side with those who don’t know Jesus, and look at the city as Nineveh. Let’s take John 3:17 literally and
believe that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn Hollywood, but to save Hollywood through Him.
By Karen Covell, Founding Director, Hollywood Prayer Network