CELEBRITY PRAYER FOCUS

“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.” Sidlow Baxter 

Celebrity Prayer Focus: Kelly Clarkson

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Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American singer and songwriter. She rose to fame in 2002 after winning the inaugural season of the television series American Idol, which earned her a record deal with RCA Records. Clarkson’s debut single, “A Moment Like This”, topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and became the country’s best-selling single of 2002. It was followed by the release of her debut album, Thankful (2003), which debuted atop the US Billboard 200. Trying to reinvent her image, Clarkson decided to part ways with Idol management and her second album, Breakaway (2004), featured a pop rock sound. It sold over 12 million copies worldwide and earned Clarkson two Grammy Awards.

She took further creative control for her third album, My December (2007), co-writing the entire album. However, her label was dissatisfied with the direction of the music and reluctantly promoted the album, which became her least commercially successful release. Clarkson returned to the top of the charts with her more mainstream-oriented fourth album, All I Ever Wanted (2009). Its lead single, “My Life Would Suck Without You”, holds the record for the biggest jump to number one on the Hot 100 chart. Her fifth studio album, Stronger (2011), made Clarkson the first artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album twice. It spawned her third Hot 100 number-one single “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”. She became the first American female artist to achieve the best-selling holiday album of the year with Wrapped in Red (2013). Following the release of her third number-one album Piece by Piece (2015), Clarkson concluded her contract with RCA Records and signed with Atlantic Records in 2016. Her soul-influenced eighth album, Meaning of Life (2017), debuted at number two on the Billboard 200.

Clarkson has sold over 25 million albums and 45 million singles worldwide. She also scored a total of over 100 number ones on the Billboard charts. Her accolades include three Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, four American Music Awards, and two Academy of Country Music Awards. Billboard hailed Clarkson as “one of pop music’s greatest singers” and honored her with the Powerhouse Award for her vocals. Known as a versatile singer, Clarkson became the first artist in history to top each of Billboard‘s pop, adult contemporary, adult pop, country and dance charts. She was ranked nineteenth on VH1’s list of 100 Greatest Women in Music. Clarkson has also ventured into film, television, and writing children’s books. She currently serves as a coach on the television competition series The Voice.

[Career summary via Wikipedia]

It was recently announced that one of Clarkson’s upcoming projects is the starring role in the animated feature Uglydolls. She will voice the lead character and will also perform original songs in the film, which releases May 2019. Clarkson will also return to the judging panel of NBC’s The Voice for its 15th season this fall.

Pray with us for Kelly Clarkson and that God will draw near to her. We pray that in all her current and upcoming projects, her relationships with everyone involved will be healthy and they will enjoy working with each other. Kelly was raised with Christian roots, and though we don’t know her relationship with God now, we ask that God makes himself known to her in the coming weeks and in all aspects of her life. We pray for her family and personal life and ask God to give her patience, strength, and compassion as a mother and a wife. Pray also that God provides the time and desire in her life to rest and rejuvenate, and that in those times she knows God is the source of her peace.

Celebrity Prayer Focus: Pete Docter

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Peter Hans Docter (born October 9, 1968) is an American film director, animator, screenwriter, producer, voice actor and chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios. He is best known for directing the animated feature films Monsters, Inc. (2001), Up (2009) and Inside Out (2015) and as a key figure and collaborator at Pixar Animation Studios. He has been nominated for eight Oscars (two wins thus far for Up and Inside Out – Best Animated Feature), seven Annie Awards (winning five), a BAFTA Children’s Film Award (which he won), and a Hochi Film Award (which he won).

Before joining Pixar, Docter had created three non-computer animations, “Next Door”, “Palm Springs”, and “Winter”. All three shorts were later preserved by the Academy Film Archive. He was a fan of the company’s early short films, but he knew nothing about them otherwise. He commented in an October 2009 interview, “Looking back, I kind of go, what was I thinking?”

He started at Pixar in 1990 at the age of 21, and began work the day after his college graduation, as the tenth employee at the company’s animation group, and its third animator. He first met owner Steve Jobs when Jobs came to lay off some older workers. Docter instantly felt at home in the tight-knit atmosphere of the company. He has said, “Growing up… a lot of us felt we were the only person in the world who had this weird obsession with animation. Coming to Pixar you feel like, ‘Oh! There are others!'”

Docter had been brought in with limited responsibilities, but John Lasseter quickly assigned him larger and larger roles in writing, animation, sound recording, and orchestra scoring. He was one of the three key screenwriters behind the concept of Toy Story.

Docter has been an integral part of some of Pixar’s most seminal works, including Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life and Monsters, Inc., all of which received critical acclaim and honors. He contributed to these animated films as a co-author to the scripts, and worked with CGI stalwarts such as John Lasseter, Ronnie Del Carmen, Bob Peterson, Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird, and Joe Ranft. In 2004, he was asked by John Lasseter to direct the English translation of Howl’s Moving Castle. Docter made his directorial debut with Monsters, Inc., which occurred right after the birth of his first child, Nick. Docter then directed the 2009 film Up, released on May 29, 2009.

In May 2009, Docter remarked retrospectively to Christianity Today that he had lived “a blessed life” so far. He has been nominated for eight Oscars (winning two), three Annie Awards (winning two), a British Academy Children’s Award (which he won), and a Hochi Film Award (which he won). He also won a Bafta for best animation for Up. Accepting his Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, he said, “Never did I dream that making a flip book out of my third-grade math book would lead to this.” Docter served as Vice-president of Creativity at Pixar Animation Studios through June 2018, and following Lasseter’s step-down from the role, is the studio’s chief creative officer (read more about the change here).

[Career summary from Wikipedia]

Docter is also a devout Christian. Though he incorporates his personal morality into his work, he has said that he does not intend to ever make a movie with an explicitly religious message. About the relationship between his faith and his filmmaking, Docter has said:

“I don’t think people in any way, shape, or form like to be lectured to. When people go to a movie, they want to see some sort of experience of themselves on the screen. They don’t come to be taught. So in that sense, and in terms of any sort of beliefs, I don’t want to feel as though I’m ever lecturing or putting an agenda forth.” [quote from Christianity Today]

Pray with us for Pete Docter, especially as he takes on his new role at Pixar. Ask God to be near him during this time of transition, and pray that it will go smoothly for Pete and his family. We pray that Pete’s relationship with God will grow deeper every single day, and that God continues to equip him to live and work in a way that glorifies God. Pray that Pete’s employees and coworkers would see Jesus through him and the way he lives. We praise God for the success and wide audience of Pete’s work, and we pray that everyone who sees his films will also see God in the characters, stories, and themes.

Celebrity Prayer Focus: Sandra Bullock

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Sandra Annette Bullock, born in 1964, is an American actress, producer, and philanthropist. She made her acting debut with a minor role in the 1987 thriller Hangmen, and made her television debut in the film Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1989), and played the lead role in the short-lived NBC sitcom Working Girl. Her breakthrough role was in the film Demolition Man (1993). She subsequently starred in several successful films including Speed (1994), While You Were Sleeping (1995), The Net (1995), A Time to Kill (1996), Hope Floats (1998), and Practical Magic (1998).

Bullock achieved further success in the following decades in Miss Congeniality (2000), Two Weeks Notice (2002), Crash (2004), The Proposal (2009), and The Heat (2013). She was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side (2009), and was nominated in the same categories for her performance in Gravity (2013). Bullock’s greatest commercial success is the animated comedy film Minions (2015), which grossed over US$1 billion at the box office. In 2007, she was one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses. She was also named “Most Beautiful Woman” by People magazine in 2015.

Bullock announced on April 28, 2010 that she had proceeded with plans to adopt a son born in January 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bullock and James had begun an initial adoption process four months earlier. Bullock’s son began living with them in January 2010, but they chose to keep the news private until after the Oscars in March 2010. However, given the couple’s separation and then divorce, Bullock continued the adoption of her son as a single parent. In December 2015, Bullock announced that she had adopted a second child, and appeared on the cover of People magazine with her then ​3 12-year-old new daughter.

In addition to her acting career, Bullock is the founder of the production company Fortis Films. She has produced some of the films in which she starred, including Two Weeks Notice, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, and All About Steve. She was an executive producer of the ABC sitcom George Lopez, and made several appearances during its run.

Most recently, Bullock stars in an all-female spin-off of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise, titled Ocean’s 8, which is directed by Gary Ross. The film released on June 8th, 2018.

[Bullock’s career summary taken from Wikipedia]

Pray with us this week for Sandra Bullock. We ask God to make his presence known to her and that she would know the deep and complete love of Jesus. We thank God for her heart for adoption, and pray blessings over her children, Louis and Laila. Pray that their family is full of love and support, and is a place of peace and comfort. We also pray that with the release of her new film, she will be protected any negative and hurtful media coverage or social media comments. Pray that God provides her with authentic friendships with people she trusts and can confide in.