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Weekly Prayer Focus: Auli’i Cravalho

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Auli’i Cravalho is an American actress, voice actress, and singer. She was born in Kohala, Hawaii in 2000 and is 17 years old.

Cravalho made her debut as Moana in the 2016 Disney film (for which she was cast at age 14). She quickly rose to fame thanks to her newly-discovered talent in voice acting and singing. Cravalho (and her voice) have become recognizable to countless children around the world, and she has also arguably become a role model for children and teens in the process.

In February 2017, shortly before her live performance at the Oscars ceremony, Cravalho auditioned for and was cast on the NBC drama Rise. The series premiered on March 13, 2018 and is her first live action role.

In reference to what her next steps will be, Cravalho said “I think I’ve been looking back so much, but I haven’t really looked forward. I’ve realized, my gosh, I was just a freshman in high school and then all of this happened. I’ve missed dances at my school, and I’ve missed assemblies, and I feel like I’ve grown up so much. I’m grateful for everything that has come to me, and I realize the only thing that has really been steady is my mom, and my appreciation for every role that I’ve been given — and I’ve worked hard for it. But I don’t know where I want to go. I want to be happy, and whether that keeps me in this industry or not, I just really want that to be my goal” (Hollywood Reporter).

Cravalho is on HPN’s Kids and Teens Prayer Calendar for March 2018, and one of the prayers on the calendar is “for child and teen actors to stay grounded and develop wisdom.” We pray this for Auli’i Cravalho, especially considering her recent and quick rise to notoriety. With her increased maturity as she continues work in Hollywood, we ask God to give her wisdom and discernment as she chooses her next projects. We pray that she (as well as her management and her family) can be selective with what she participates in, and that nothing she works on will have a negative or damaging effect on her.

We pray that Auli’i will experience the love of God, perhaps even through someone else in the entertainment industry that she works with. We pray especially for coverage of her in the media as her show Rise gains traction, and for responses to her on social media, and that none of it will be invasive, damaging, dehumanizing, or hurtful. We pray for protection over her, and that even if negative words are directed towards her in the media, she will not ever see or hear them. Pray that her relationship with her mom is loving and that her mom is patient, supportive, protecting, and continues to provide a sense of stability for Auli’i.

Weekly Prayer Focus: Chadwick Boseman

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Chadwick Boseman is an American actor born in 1977. He was born and raised in South Carolina, and attended Howard University in Washington, DC to earn a bachelor of fine arts in directing. Boseman originally wanted to write and direct, but began studying acting to better understand actors and how to work with them. He ended up moving to Los Angeles in 2008 to pursue an acting career himself.

In his early career, Boseman’s work included episodes of Third Watch, Law & Order, CSI:NY, and ER. He had a recurring role on the TV series Lincoln Heights in 2008, and in the same year appeared in his first film, The Express. During this time he also continued to write plays, one of which was performed in Chicago (Deep Azure).

In 2010, Boseman appeared in a regular role on the TV series Persons Unknown. He then earned his first starring role, in the film 42, in which he played baseball star Jackie Robinson (2013). During this same year, he had also been directing an off-Broadway play and acting in the indie film The Kill Hole.

Boseman played an NFL draft prospect in Draft Day (2014), and starred as James Brown in Get on Up in the same year. He also played Thoth in Gods of Egypt (2016).

Most recently, Boseman is known as the star of Black Panther (2018), and played the same role in Captain America: Civil War (2016). He will also reprise the role of T’Challa/Black Panther in Avengers: Infinity War later in 2018 (the third in his five-film deal with Marvel).

Boseman was raised Christian, was baptized, and was part of a youth group and church choir. His childhood pastor has spoken about Boseman’s faith, saying he is still a believer.

This week, pray with us for Chadwick Boseman. We pray that he does still feel close to God and that his faith and relationship with God can be strengthened, not weakened, by his acting career. Pray that there are people around him who can encourage him in his faith and bring the truth of Jesus into his life. He has received increased media attention due to the huge popularity and success of Black Panther, so we pray that this attention would be respectful and not invasive to him. Pray that he would have a strong community around him of friends and family who value him as a person, not just for his work and career. We also pray that the roles he plays, whether as Black Panther in upcoming films or any other projects he does, would be an opportunity for him to represent God’s love to people – both on set and in audiences. Pray this week that Chadwick Boseman would feel God’s presence and truly experience His love.

Weekly Prayer Focus: Lupita Nyong’o

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Lupita Nyong’o is a Kenyan-Mexican actress, born in 1983. She was born in Mexico City, raised in Kenya, then attended college and began her career in the United States.

Nyong’o made her acting debut in the short film East River in 2008. In Kenya, from 2009-2012, she starred in the TV series Shuga. She also wrote, produced, and directed the documentary In My Genes (2009). Following this, she attended the Yale School of Drama to earn a master’s degree in acting.

After graduating, Nyong’o landed her first feature film role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave (2013). Her performance earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as nominations for several other acting awards.

Nyong’o co-starred in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) as Maz Kanata, performing both the voice and motion capture for the character. She reprised this role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). Also in 2015, she starred in the play Eclipsed (which premiered on Broadway in 2016). She received several recognitions for this performance, including a Tony Award nomination. She performed another voice acting role as Raksha in The Jungle Book (2016), and co-starred in the biopic Queen of Katwe (2016). Most recently, Nyong’o portrayed Nakia in Black Panther (2018).

Nyong’o is involved in many upcoming projects, including her writing debut with a children’s book titled Sulwe (which means “star” in Luo, Nyong’o’s native language). The book reportedly “tells the story of a 5-year-old Kenyan girl of the same name who is insecure about having darker skin than the rest of her family members. With a bit of wisdom from her mother, Sulwe takes a fanciful journey through the night’s sky that helps her embrace the deep hue of her skin” ( In an Instagram post, Nyong’o wrote, “I hope it serves as an inspiration for everyone to walk with joy in their own skin.”

This week, we pray for Lupita Nyong’o and that she will experience God’s love and know His grace. We thank God for the talent that He has given her, and pray that her work and artistry will glorify Him. Pray that her influence will continue to be positive, and that projects like her upcoming book will be expressions of God’s love and value for all His children. We pray that any followers of Jesus in her life would pray for her and demonstrate God’s love to her. We also pray for discernment and wisdom for her when choosing future projects, and that she will be able to avoid anything that would be damaging to her in any way.

Weekly Prayer Focus: Oscar Winners

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This week, we are praying for the winners of the 90th Oscar awards. Click here for a list of the winners in each category. 

One reason we want to pray specifically for the winners is because of all the media coverage they will receive this week, both in news and social media. We pray that God will shield them from harsh words and negative criticism. We ask God to give them endurance and good rest during this time of interviews, media appearances, and increased attention from the public.

We also want to pray about how these Oscar wins will affect the artists’ level of influence in the future, both in the public eye and in the opportunities they are given. They all will likely influence the world of entertainment increasingly, partly because of the notoriety they receive from their Oscar wins. Please pray that if these artists receive any increased pressure in their careers because of these wins, that God would give them peace and rest and take away their stress.

One of our main prayers for all of this awards season has been that every single entertainment industry professional would know that their individual worth and value is not tied to their career and accomplishments, but to God’s love for them. We pray this for the Oscar winners, and that even when they receive creative recognition such as this, they would know their value is in God. We also pray that they would not rely on receiving awards in the future to feel validated as people, but that God would touch their hearts and show them that they don’t have to live up to the world’s expectations in their careers to be valued. Please pray that God would touch each of their hearts and show them His love and grace, which transcends their “successes” or “failures” in their careers.

Please also pray for Christians who won Oscars this week and were involved in award-winning films – such as HPN friends Glen Keane (Dear Basketball) and Doug Jones (Shape of Water), along with any others that we aren’t aware of! We pray that as they continue their work following awards season, they would be a light to everyone they encounter. Pray that they can be close to God every day, that they would receive encouragement from other believers to continue with faith in their mission field, and that God would be glorified by the work that they do.

Weekly Prayer Focus: 90th Oscars

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This week, we are praying for the most anticipated awards show of the season: the 90th Oscars. The Academy Awards are highly anticipated by the entertainment industry community just as much as the film audiences and fans from all over the world.

The films and people nominated for these awards have a high level of influence on our world and culture. It is so important to pray for each nominee, whether they win or lose. They all will continue to influence the world of entertainment increasingly, in part because of the notoriety they receive from their Oscar nominations. Regardless of our feelings and opinions about the televised award ceremony itself, HPN believes we must acknowledge the cultural significance of these awards and pray for each nominee!

The Oscars website itself makes note of the influence and impact of the awards: “Each January, the entertainment community and film fans around the world turn their attention to the Academy Awards. Interest and anticipation builds to a fevered pitch leading up to the Oscar telecast, when hundreds of millions of movie lovers tune in to watch the glamorous ceremony and learn who will receive the highest honors in filmmaking.”

With that said, one of our main prayers for these awards – and for all of awards season in general – is that every single entertainment industry professional would know that their individual worth and value is not tied to their career and accomplishments, but to God’s love for them. These influential people often feel immense pressure to maintain their public image, to live up to the expectations placed on them when they do win an award, and even to achieve the goal of winning an award in the first place. Please pray that God would touch each of their hearts and show them His love and grace, which transcends their “successes” or “failures” in their careers.

We also want to pray, with all the media coverage these nominees are about to receive, both in news and social media, that God will shield them from harsh words and negative criticism. We ask God to give them endurance and good rest during this time of interviews, media appearances, and increased attention from the public.

We pray that all of these global influencers will not be victims of loneliness, that they will find good friends and community with whom they can be authentic and honest, and that they will know the incomparable love, companionship, comfort, and peace of Jesus.  


Weekly Prayer Focus: Winter Olympics

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This week, our prayer focus is on the Winter Olympics and all the media coverage related to the games. We want to pray for all of the anchors, interviewers, crews, audiences, and athletes involved in the Olympics. The games will run through February 25th in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Television and media is the key to connecting these games with the rest of the world. Each country shows their own interests and biases by what games they choose to air, what people they take time to profile, and what messages their audiences receive from those choices. Please pray that the television networks all over the world will make wise choices about how to report on the games, and that the anchors will do so with respect for all the countries and teams.

Pray for safety for the athletes as they compete. Pray also for all the athletes who receive media attention – from television as well as online and from social media – and that they won’t be negatively affected by it. Ask God for wisdom as you watch the Olympics so that you know who to pray for and understand what’s really happening there through what you watch. Pray that the Christians who are at the games will have a spiritual impact on the people they spend time with there. We give thanks to God for the gifts and talents he has given the athletes, and pray that each one of them will know more of who God is and experience His love.


Weekly Prayer Focus: WGA Awards

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For this Weekly Prayer Focus, we are sticking with Awards Season. The 70th Annual Writers Guild of America Awards will be held on on Sunday, February 11th at concurrent ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York. The awards for Best Writer spans films, TV, documentaries, and more. Additionally, for the first time they will be giving out an award for Video Game Writing, showing the growing market and influence of video games. Click HERE for a list of all the nominees. 

HPN believes that the script is the most crucial element to any film or TV show. Writers are the foundation in the process of bringing a story to life. They create and influence setting, storyline and plot, mood and tone, themes, messages, characters and their qualities, and much more. Not only are they vital in any ongoing show, but their scripts represent the beginning of new ideas and therefore determine what media content the world will see in the future.

Please pray for the nominated writers, whether they win or lose, to know the Lord and His love and mercy – and as a result, get their ideas, their inspiration and their passion from Him. Pray that even if they do not know God yet, that He would be present in their work and that audiences would see His qualities in the writers’ stories. Pray that they will not tie their value and self-worth to their perceived success, and that God would give them perseverance when their scripts and story ideas are turned down. We give thanks to God for the creativity He has given writers and pray that they will receive His encouragement and love.

Weekly Prayer Focus: DGA Awards

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In this week’s Prayer Focus, we are praying for another upcoming awards show. The 70th Directors Guild of America Awards will be held on Sat., Feb. 3rd in Beverly Hills. The host of the event is Judd Apatow. They will celebrate the best directors in film and television and highlight the work that they do. Click here for a list of nominations.

Directors are incredibly influential in the creation of a film or show. They make the significant decisions about the artistic, dramatic, creative, and technical aspects of the project. They also often have a large public presence and are the representative for the film and its cast and crew. It is important that we pray for directors, their influence behind the scenes and as public figures, and for their creativity that is infused into the films and shows that the world consumes daily.

Pray for the DGA Awards this week – for the nominees, winners, and losers. Pray specifically for each director, as well as their directorial teams (which are also listed on the nominations page at the above link). We pray that each one of them would know the unconditional love of God and not base their worth on the perceived success of their work. We pray that God will use their influence both on and off the film set to show His compassion and selflessness to everyone they work with. Pray that as they begin to see more and more of who God is, their projects and creative choices would increasingly reflect God’s character.