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Weekly Prayer Focus: Women in Hollywood

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For this week’s Prayer Focus, HPN wants to do something a little different. Usually, we would focus on praying for one individual influential person in Hollywood. This week, however, in light of the recent Hollywood sex scandals, we want to pray for all of the women who have spoken out and gone on the record about being targeted, sexually harassed, and abused, including the victims of Bill Cosby, Bill O’Reilly and most recently, Harvey Weinstein. This age-old treatment of women is being revealed and it’s more rampant than most people realize.

As these are all currently-developing stories, we are doing our best to provide accurate information from multiple sources. But at HPN, our first priority is praying for the people in Hollywood – and as these women in the industry continue to tell their stories, we want to pray for each of them and lift them up to God.

Pray with us this week that each one of these women will experience the presence, truth, comfort, and peace of the Lord. Pray in thanks for their courage to speak publicly about their range of painful experiences, and ask God to affirm them and continue to give them the courage and strength they need as the cases continue to develop. Pray that they will be supported instead of silenced by their friends, family, the media, and the public. Let’s pray for God to encourage any other women who may have had similar experiences, to share their stories with bravery and that God will take away whatever shame they might have. Pray that each of these women will come to know the love of God, and that through Him they may receive true deep emotional healing from these experiences.

Below is a list of some of the women to pray for who have most recently spoken out:

Asia Argento
Rosanna Arquette
Jessica Barth
Kate Beckinsale
Zoë Brock
Liza Campbell
Emma de Caunes
Cara Delevingne
Sophie Dix
Dawn Dunning
Lucia Evans
Claire Forlani
Romola Garai
Louisette Geiss
Louise Godbold
Judith Godrèche
Heather Graham
Ambra Battilana Gutierrez
Angelina Jolie
Ashley Judd
Katherine Kendall
Laura Madden
Sarah Ann Masse
Rose McGowan
Emily Nestor
Gwyneth Paltrow
Zelda Perkins
Tomi-Ann Roberts
Léa Seydoux
Mira Sorvino
Evan Rachel Wood

Weekly Prayer Focus: Bruce Springsteen

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Bruce Springsteen is an American singer-songwriter. He is known for his work with the E Street Band. His work has included commercial rock albums and folk-oriented music. Springsteen has sold more than 120 million records, and has received many awards including 20 Grammy Awards. In 2009, he was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

Springsteen was born in New Jersey in 1949. He attended a Catholic school, and has said that although he was at odds with the structures of the school, his Catholic upbringing had a larger influence than anything else on his music.

Springsteen grew up hearing Frank Sinatra on the radio, as well as Elvis Presley and The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. In 1964, he bought his first guitar. Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, Springsteen performed with young bands and trios, playing gigs in clubs and venues in several cities around the country.

In 1972 Springsteen was signed to Columbia Records. He released his debut album in January 1973, Greetings from Ashbury Park, N.J. Just months later, in September 1973, he released his second album, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. Both of these albums received critical acclaim but had low sales.

In 1975, Springsteen and the E Street Band had their breakthrough at a 10-show stand in New York. Nearly ten years later, he released what is now one of the best-selling albums of all time: Born in the U.S.A. (1984). This period of time was when Springsteen was most highly visible in pop culture and reached a very broad audience.

Springsteen continued to release music in the 1990s, after moving to Los Angeles (which had caused concerns for his fans that he would change as a musician). He released Human Touch and Lucky Town at the same time. In 1999, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

During the early 2000s, following his Reunion Tour with the E Street Band and the band’s first studio album in many years – The Rising (2002) – Springsteen experienced a return to success. He and the band released more albums over the next few years and continued to tour and perform. In 2009, Springsteen performed at the Super Bowl halftime show.

Springsteen and the E Street Band have continued to perform and release albums through 2015. This fall, Springsteen is performing a run on Broadway, which began this week. Read more about Springsteen on Broadway here.

In his autobiography, Springsteen wrote that he has “a personal relationship with Jesus. I believe in his power to save, love…but not to damn.” Referring to his Catholic faith, he has said “I don’t participate in my religion but I know somewhere…deep inside…I’m still on the team.”

This week, join us in praying for Bruce Springsteen. Pray that God will draw near to him and he will experience the presence, love, and closeness of God. Pray for his strength and health during his Broadway show performance. Let’s pray that God will use his previous knowledge and experience of Jesus to inspire curiosity in him to explore more about God.

Salvation & Healing for Hollywood & the Nation

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1. Please pray for the Lord’s grace, mercy, love, help, complete healing, full-household salvation, leadership, truth and light, wisdom / knowledge / understanding / discernment, peace / comfort / rest / joy, presence and favor, impenetrable protection, and all that’s good from God above for all of:

The USA (Washington DC); California (Sacramento and Silicon Valley); Israel and Jerusalem; Canada and Mexico; The entire world-wide Entertainment Industry in fullness (including Hollywood Prayer Network and Act One, Inc.); all of the Lord’s churches / groups / denominations / ministries / gatherings world-wide; all of God’s people (THE BODY / CHURCH OF CHRIST); me (Sean) and all my family and relatives; all whom I’ve prayed for, and all of mankind as the Lord wills.

Pray that the Lord would physically, mentally, and spiritually save, heal, strengthen, and restore us all; forgive us of all our sins; write our names in His Book of Life; grant to us all our prayers, needs, and desires of our hearts according to His good will; and deliver us from all evil and the Evil One. Amen, thank you.
2. Please pray for the Lord’s complete healing (even His supernatural / miraculous quick physical healing) and pain / anxiety relief for: me (Sean) and all my family and relatives, Marie G., Jackie and Rich L., Larry P., Walter O. and John, Doe S., Darlene V., John F. Jr., Judy A., Janice U., Toni K. and Cleda, Roger C. and Jack C., Kipp T., for all who belong to the Lord (THE BODY / CHURCH OF CHRIST), all whom I’ve prayed for, and all of mankind as the Lord wills. Amen, thank you.

– Sean, CA, USA

Weekly Prayer Focus: Lady Gaga

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Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She is known for her unconventional images and musical ideas. She was raised in a Catholic family, and attended an all-girls Catholic school in Manhattan as a child.

Gaga has played piano nearly her entire life, and wrote her first piano ballad at age 13. She also was involved in theater in high school; one of her roles was Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. At age 17, she gained early admission to a music school at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Two years into the program, she dropped out of the school to focus on her music career.

Gaga was initially focused on avant-garde electronic dance music, but eventually found her niche as she began to use pop melodies and gain inspiration from David Bowie and Queen. After a long process of performing locally with her band from college, a stint as a neo-burlesque performer, and songwriting for other singers and bands, Gaga was able to begin creating her own debut album, The Fame, which released in 2008.

Over the years, Lady Gaga has released many albums, songs, and musical projects. Some of the most popular ones are “Born this Way,” “Bad Romance,” “Telephone,” and Artpop. In 2011, she collaborated with Tony Bennett on a jazz version of “The Lady Is a Tramp.” This performance was received with pleasant surprise, as it was one of the first times Gaga’s “real voice” in a more classic style had been widely displayed. This also led to Gaga creating an entire album with Tony Bennett in 2014, Cheek to Cheek.

Gaga is known for her outlandish style in music and fashion. Her persona receives mixed responses, but her radical uniqueness also contributed to her rise in fame. She is also an outspoken activist, participating in many philanthropic efforts.

Recently, Lady Gaga posted a photo on Instagram of herself praying the rosary, and explained the cancellation of her European tour that was planned for this fall. She described that she is experiencing “physical and mental health struggles…[that are] complicated and difficult to explain,” and that she needs to be with her doctors so she can “be strong and perform for you all for the next 60 years or more.” Although Lady Gaga did not specify in her recent post, her health issues could be connected to her ongoing struggles with chronic pain. She has recently begun discussing in more candor – including in her new Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two – her chronic illness, fibromyalgia. She tweeted that she wants to “help raise awareness and connect people who have it.”

Let us pray this week for Lady Gaga and her health. Pray that God will give her doctors wisdom and discernment about how to help her effectively. Let’s pray boldly for her healing, recovery, and for her to be free of daily pain. Pray that God will make His presence and care known to her, and that she will feel His comfort and strength. Also, let us pray that the public’s and media’s response to her decision to cancel her tour will be supportive, positive, and understanding.

 

Weekly Prayer Focus: Chris Pratt

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Chris Pratt was born in 1979 in Minnesota, and soon after moved to Washington. In high school he did wrestling, and remarked to his coach that he knew he’d be famous someday.

Soon after starting community college, Pratt dropped out. For a while, he worked as a ticket salesman as well as a stripper. After this, he ended up being homeless in Maui, Hawaii, spending nights in a van and a tent. In Maui, at age 19, he was discovered by actress and director Rae Dawn Chong, who cast him in her short horror film Cursed Part 3.

In 2009, Pratt began his role as Andy Dwyer in Parks and Recreation. He played Scott Hatteberg in Moneyball in 2011, which was a new kind of role for him – dramatic and mature, contrary to his previous characters which were often more youthful. He portrayed a Navy SEAL in Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and also had a role in Her (2013).

In 2014, Pratt began to make his name as a leading actor. He first headlined The Lego Movie, and later that year starred in Guardians of the Galaxy. He also played the lead role of Owen Grady in Jurassic World (2015), and will reprise that role in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). Pratt starred as Josh Farraday in the 2016 remake of The Magnificent Seven. Also in 2016, he co-starred alongside Jennifer Lawrence in Passengers. Recently, Pratt reprised his role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), and will again play the same role in Avengers: Infinity War (2018). In April 2017, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Chris Pratt is publicly known as a Christian, and has discussed his faith many times in the media. While living in Hawaii, a man approached him and invited him to church; soon after this, Pratt became Christian. Others have commented that he is casual about his faith, and isn’t afraid of talking about being Christian or praying for and with people, including non-believers.

In August, Chris Pratt and Anna Faris – married for eight years – announced their legal separation. Their separation was widely discussed by the news and social media, and continues to draw attention (such as when Anna Faris appeared without Pratt at the Emmys). The couple also received public comment and criticism from specifically Christian sources.

This week, let us lift up Chris Pratt in our prayers together. Let’s pray for God to restore their relationship with Himself at the center of it. Pray for their young son Jack, and that God will take away any of the weight Jack might bear as an outcome of the separation. Let’s also pray that the news and social media will respond with compassion, and that other public Christian voices speak out with love and not condemnation. In the midst of the difficulties of the separation, pray that Chris Pratt can continue to seek the Lord daily and bring the light and love of God everywhere he goes and works.

Weekly Prayer Focus: Kristen Bell

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Kristen Bell in an American actress who began her career in stage productions. She attended the Tisch School of Arts in New York. She played Becky Thatcher in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer on Broadway in 2001, leaving New York University to do so. She also had a role in the Broadway revival of The Crucible. After this, in 2002, she moved to Los Angeles. In 2004, Bell began her role in Veronica Mars as the title character. She found parallels between her own life and her character Veronica’s life, and many critics believed she should have been considered for an Emmy Award for her performance.

Bell appeared as Elle Bishop on several episodes of Heroes, and also voiced the title character in Gossip Girl (both roles began in 2007). Over the next few years she had roles in many films as well as voicing a character, Lucy, in the Assassin’s Creed video game franchise. Bell starred in the family drama film Big Miracle in 2012. She also portrayed Mary Magdalene in The Truth & Life Dramatized Audio New Testament Bible, which is a dramatized audio adaptation of the New Testament. In 2012, Bell voiced Anna in the Disney film Frozen. In 2013, Bell reprised her role as Veronica in a crowd-funded Veronica Mars film.

Recently, Bell starred as Kiki in 2016 comedy film Bad Moms and has reprised that role for the sequel A Bad Moms Christmas, releasing later this year. She also stars as Eleanor Shellstrop in NBC comedy series The Good Place, which premiers its second season next week on September 20th.

Last year, Bell began publicly talking about her struggles with mental health. She wrote, “Depression gave me a complete and utter sense of isolation and loneliness. … I felt worthless, like I had nothing to offer, like I was a failure. Now, after seeking help, I can see that those thoughts, of course, couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s important for me to be candid about this so people in a similar situation can realize that they are not worthless and that they do have something to offer. We all do.”

Bell is often involved with philanthropic efforts and charities, and this past week she made the news and garnered interest on social media for her positive presence in Florida during Hurricane Irma. She performed Frozen songs for a group of evacuees at a shelter, helped Josh Gad’s family get a hotel room in safety, and visited with residents of a senior center at her hotel and played Bingo with them.

Pray with us this week for Kristen Bell. We ask God to bless her heart for people, her compassion and empathy, and her giving spirit. Pray that God will give her peace and comfort as she continues to heal from her depression, and that God will use her honesty in telling her story about depression to help bring comfort to others. We pray that in her ongoing and upcoming work, God will show her his unconditional love for her and show her who He truly is in her life.

How Hollywood Works: Advice from Industry Creatives

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Phil Cooke has compiled quotes, advice, tips, and experiences from Hollywood professionals on what you need to know about how the industry works. Included are some Christian perspectives on what it’s like to follow God to Hollywood and see how God is already working there!

Part 1 – What should I know about Hollywood?

Part 2 – The practical tips and tools

Part 3 – Developing your idea and the importance of relationships

Weekly Prayer Focus: Zachary Levi

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Zachary Levi is an American actor and singer, born in Louisiana. His family moved to California when he was young. At the age of six, he began acting on stage, performing at the Ojai Art Center in regional productions such as Grease, Oklahoma!, and The Wizard of Oz. 

Levi began appearing on television, starting with the FX movie Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie. He also had a role in the ABC sitcom Less than Perfect as Kipp Steadman.

He also starred as Chuck Bartowski in the series Chuck, beginning the role in 2007. This performance earned him a nomination, and subsequent win, for Best Action Actor for the Teen Choice Awards 2010. In the summer of 2008, Levi was named one of Entertainment Weekly‘s Top Thirty People Under Thirty. He has continued to portray characters in both television and film, including Fandral in Thor: The Dark World (2013) and Jeremiah in Canadian miniseries Alias Grace (currently in post-production).

Levi played the lead role of Georg in the 2016 Broadway revival of She Loves Me. He received a Tony nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.

Levi has also performed in voice acting roles, such as Flynn Rider in Disney’s 2010 animated film Tangled. He reprised this role for a new television series based on the film, which debuted earlier this year on Disney Channel.

Levi also voices Joseph in an upcoming animated Christian comedy film based on the birth of Jesus. The Star is set to release on November 17th.

Zachary Levi has been a Christian since childhood and has talked in media about his faith. In a 2009 interview with Relevant Magazine, speaking of how he deals with rejection in Hollywood, he said, “the most important factor in all of the rejection was that I had a walk with God.” He also explained, “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 more than anything, that’s what I’m trying to do now. Just build relationships with everyone that I work with.”

Join us this week in praying for Zachary Levi. Pray that as his new film releases, God will use his work to both encourage other Christians and inspire curiosity in non-Christians. We also want to ask God to encourage Zachary in his faith as he strives to represent the heart of Jesus to all those with whom he comes in contact. Pray that he is filled with peace and endurance to continue to bring God’s vision of love, mercy, and compassion to the entertainment industry.