Category

Weekly Prayer Focus

Weekly Prayer Focus: Alan Silvestri

By | Weekly Prayer Focus | No Comments

Alan Silvestri is an American composer and conductor. He is known for his film and television scores, with a career that spans the last 46 years. Silvestri was raised in New Jersey, and his musical interests began with playing jazz guitar. He attended the Berklee College of Music for two years, after which he began performing and arranging professionally. He moved to Hollywood at age 22, where his composing career kicked off with the film The Doberman Gang (1972).

Silvestri’s rhythmic, synth-pop stylings served as the score for the TV series CHiPs from 1977 to 1983. He then developed a strong working relationship with producer Robert Zemeckis, and beginning with Romancing the Stone (1984), Silvestri has since scored all of Zemeckis’s films. These include the Back to the Future trilogy (1985-1990), Forrest Gump (1994), Cast Away (2000), Beowulf (2007), A Christmas Carol (2009), and The Walk (2015).

Silvestri has also composed the score for films directed by James Cameron and Stephen Sommers. His recent film work includes The Avengers (2012), The Croods (2013), and Ready Player One (2018). He also scored the new film Avengers: Infinity War (2018) which is releasing later this week.

Silvestri has been nominated for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. He also has been nominated for four Grammy awards, of which he won two. Silvestri now lives with his wife in California, where they own a vineyard. Silvestri is quoted on his website, saying “There’s something about the elemental side of winemaking that appeals to me. Both music making and wine making involve the blending of art and science. Just as each note brings it own voice to the melody, each vine brings its own unique personality to the wine.”

Pray with us this week for Alan Silvestri. We thank God for the musical talent he has given him, and pray that Alan would grow closer to God as he continues to create music. Pray that Alan encounters the Lord through music, in a way that is meaningful and personal to him. We also pray that in Alan’s recording sessions, whenever he collaborates with other musicians, and when he serves as a conductor, his interactions are full of patience and compassion along with his drive for excellence. Pray that Alan would build relationships with people, especially other musicians, who can demonstrate God’s love and grace to him.

Weekly Prayer Focus: Emilia Clarke

By | Weekly Prayer Focus | No Comments

Emilia Clarke is an English actress, born in London in 1986. Her interest in acting started at a young age, and led to her attending Drama Centre London (graduated 2009). Clarke’s first television role was in a 2009 episode of Doctors, a British soap opera.

In 2010, Clarke earned the role of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. She has been nominated three times for an Emmy in this role since then and has received praise throughout the seasons for her performance.

Clarke also appeared in the film Spike Island (2012), a Broadway production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s (2013), and the film Terminator Genisys (2015). She then starred as the female lead in the film Me Before You (2016). This book adaptation was commercially successful and had a positive reception. Clarke was also cast as the female lead in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the next stand-alone film in the franchise to be released May 2018.

Clarke’s mother, Jennifer, is the director of the charity The Anima Foundation, which works to educate the public and raise funds for brain injury care. Emilia herself is involved in this organization and several others, and most recently was named the ambassador for the Royal College of Nursing in England. In the press release, Clarke said “I am fiercely proud of my new role as ambassador and vow to use it to champion nurses and their work. Together, we must attract young people into the profession, support them to innovate and become the powerful nurses of tomorrow.”

We want to pray together for Emilia Clarke this week. Pray that she can experience the love of Jesus in a way that is meaningful and tangible to her. We pray that she can develop deeper relationships with Christians in her life who can show her selfless compassion and grace. Pray that with her new film releasing next month, she will be shielded from negative feedback that isn’t constructive and it won’t affect her emotionally or mentally. We pray that as the final season of Game of Thrones is in production, she can enjoy her time on set with the rest of the cast and crew and that their personal and professional relationships are healthy, loving, and supportive.

Weekly Prayer Focus: John Legend

By | Weekly Prayer Focus | No Comments

John Legend (born John Roger Stephens in 1978) is an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor. He has been involved in music his entire life, from performing with his church choir at four years old to serving as the musical director of his college a cappella group to portraying the title role in the recent live adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Legend’s debut album, Get Lifted, was released in 2004. The album won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. Legend was featured on several other records in the following years, including collaborations with Jay Z, Mary J. Blige, The Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, and many others. Legend’s second album, Once Again (2006), was also very successful and earned another Grammy award. These albums effectively kicked off the next decade and more of success for Legend, including multiple award-winning albums, tours, and judging the ABC music show Duets.

In 2016, Legend played the role of Keith in the film La La Land. He co-wrote and performed “Start a Fire” for the film’s soundtrack. Legend also gained producing credit around this time, as a producer of the TV show Underground (2016-2017) and the film Southside with You (2016).

On Easter 2018, Legend played the role of Jesus Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on NBC. He also was an executive producer of the musical. Legend did an interview with Relevant Magazine prior to the performance about how his religious background helped prepare him for the role. Legend explained that he “grew up playing gospel music.” He also was the choir director at Bethel AME Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania for almost 10 years before the rise of his performance career. Legend says he does not currently consider himself religious, but says, “all of that is still with me.” He’s noticed that there’s been more of a conversation lately about how “Jesus was kind of a revolutionary in his own way. He was fighting the power and speaking out for the underdog almost all the time throughout His life.” Legend’s passion for fighting social injustice seems to be rooted in his church background, which gave him the willingness to engage with complex human issues. He said, “I think it’s important that we continue to examine [Jesus’] words and not to project what our own political motivations are onto Him, but to actually pay attention to what He actually said. What He said about the poor, what He said about loving one another and all the things that He preached, I think sometimes we lose sight of that.” The Relevant article comments, “While Legend may no longer be religious, he carries a moral burden with him. He sees success as a platform. He sees fatherhood as a window to better understand the needy. He sees a society that’s deeply in need of people who will live Jesus’ message—even if they, and he, aren’t sure who He really is.” Legend insists he has “no doubt that the message of Christian love has stayed with me.”

Pray with us for John Legend this week. We are praying that his own performance and involvement in Jesus Christ Superstar has a lasting effect on him in the way that it caused his spiritual background to resurface. We pray that he can develop a new relationship with God and know that Jesus’s message of love can be personal to John himself, not just a message for the world in general. Pray that there would be someone in his life that he is close to and trusts who can represent the hope and joy of Jesus to him. We want to ask God to encounter John in a way that is tangible to him, and help him to know more of who Jesus really is. And we pray that as he gets to know Jesus deeper, John can be a light of joy and represent Jesus in his career, music, relationships, and everyday work.

Weekly Prayer Focus: Auli’i Cravalho

By | Weekly Prayer Focus | No Comments

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

By | Weekly Prayer Focus | No Comments

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

By | Weekly Prayer Focus | No Comments

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” (ew.com). 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

By | Weekly Prayer Focus | No Comments

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

By | Weekly Prayer Focus | No Comments

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.  

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL LIST OF THE OSCAR NOMINEES. 

Weekly Prayer Focus: Winter Olympics

By | Weekly Prayer Focus | No Comments

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

By | Weekly Prayer Focus | No Comments

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.