WEEKLY 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 

Weekly Prayer Focus: Demi Lovato

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Demi Lovato was born in 1992, and is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She started out as a child actress in Barney & Friends (2002-2004). Her career took off when she starred in the Disney Channel film Camp Rock (2008) and began releasing music as the film’s soundtrack, and then released her own album that same year. She then starred in Disney’s television series Sonny with a Chance (2009-2011) and released her second album.

In 2010, Lovato put her career on hold when she entered a treatment center to heal from addictions, and eating disorder, and self-harm. She was then diagnosed with bipolar disorder. After completing treatment, she released her third album, Unbroken (2011), which addressed some of her struggles.

In 2012 and 2013 she was a judge and mentor on the American version of The X Factor. Lovato released a book titled Staying Strong: 365 Days A Year in 2013. She released her albums Demi in 2013, Confident in 2015, and Tell Me You Love Me in 2017. Her music has reached the top 10 and earned gold/platinum certifications multiple times.

From a young age Lovato has faced difficulty and personal struggles. Her parents divorced when she was younger and she had no interest in contact with her father, saying that their relationship was abusive and difficult. He died in 2013 and Lovato says that he had been mentally ill. She created the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program in his honor.

Lovato entered rehab at age 18, after suffering from depression, an eating disorder, and self-harm. She has talked about using cocaine several times a day even while on tour, dealing with bulimia, and lashing out at her dancers and staff due to bipolar disorder.  She recently released a YouTube documentary (Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated) in which she discusses that she still struggled with alcoholism and a cocaine addiction for about a year after leaving rehab. After her management team threatened to quit, she finally agreed to resume treatment and move to a sober-living facility.

Lovato has discussed her faith as an evangelical Christian, saying that she finds spirituality to be an important part of life. In a 2013 interview she said, “I’m the closest I’ve ever been with God. I have my own relationship with God and that’s all that matters.” In March of 2017 she passed the 5-year mark in her sobriety, and posted this message on Instagram: “So many times I wanted to relapse but sat on my hands and begged God to relieve the obsession. I’m so proud of myself but I couldn’t have done it without my higher power (God), my family, friends, and everyone else who supported me.”

Pray with us for Demi Lovato this week. We pray that she continues grow closer to God every single day and that she feels God’s welcoming and loving presence in every part of her life. We thank God for the strength He has given her so far in overcoming her struggles, and we ask that He continue to give her even more of that strength and power to rise above the addictions and eating disorder. Pray for wisdom for her doctors, friends, and family, to be able to give her treatment and support that is best for her. We ask God to touch her heart and develop her into a devoted disciple who brings God’s love and light to everything she does. We also thank God for her honesty and transparency in talking about her difficulties, and pray that her story of recovery and healing would encourage and inspire others with similar struggles to turn to God for strength and restoration.

Weekly Prayer Focus: Leah Remini

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Leah Remini is an American actress and producer. She is known for her roles in The King of Queens and The Exes, has competed on Dancing with the Stars, and was a co-host on The Talk. She is currently creating and hosting the documentary series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

Remini was baptized in a Roman Catholic Church as a child and was raised in the Catholic tradition. When she was nine years old, her mother joined the Church of Scientology. After this, Remini was raised as a Scientologist. She and her mother moved to Los Angeles when she was thirteen. As she grew up and began her acting career, she was defensive of the Church of Scientology when asked about it in the media.

In 2013, Remini left the Church of Scientology, believing that the management was corrupt and that members were being abused. Over the following years, she became more vocal about her reasons for leaving Scientology and how it had affected her life and relationships. She released a memoir in 2015, titled Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.

In 2015, in an interview with People magazine, Remini said that she is finding comfort in Catholicism and all the ways it is different from Scientology. She said that she finds peace as she visits a Catholic church “by myself, sitting and praying and doing my rosary….Sometimes I don’t do anything. To me it’s what religion is supposed to be: a beautiful thing.”

Remini’s Scientology documentary series, which began airing in 2016, is hosted by Remini and Mike Rinder. The two hosts invite former Scientologists to tell their stories, detailing the abuse, harassment, and relational damage that happen within and result from being part of Scientology. The show has received critical praise, including winning an Emmy and other awards. The Church of Scientology continues to criticize and discredit the series, attacking Remini and Rinder and claiming that they are telling lies about Scientology.

Let’s pray this week for Leah Remini, and first express gratefulness and thanks to God that she is no longer part of Scientology and is using her public platform to try to help those who are being hurt. Pray that she continues to grow closer to God, and that the peace and comfort she feels will deepen even and especially as she works to expose stories of abuse and pain. Pray for protection over her as well as Mike Rinder, and that they will know God is building protection around them despite the threats and defamation they receive. Ask God to continue to give her courage to pursue justice, and that everyone she encounters during this process will experience God’s love and compassion through her.

 

Weekly Prayer Focus: Boldness and Healing

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We invite you to pray for the women (and some men) in our industry who have been sexually harassed and abused by an overwhelming number of men through the past decades. All too often, the victims are intimidated or threatened into not speaking out, and the other people who know don’t say anything. Harvey Weinstein’s horrific acts have been brought to the surface and now many other people are being revealed for harassment and abuse. Your prayers can make an eternal difference in protecting the women and shaking up the lives of the predators. Thank you for praying for this serious issue. We believe that God is turning this into good because revealing the darkness is the first step in healing the problem. We also pray for the Christians in Hollywood to be bolder in talking about the issue, which brings more light out into the open.

Pray for courage and boldness for those in Hollywood who are devoting themselves to telling the truth about these numerous cases, such as Corey Feldman. We’d like to share HPN member Maria’s prayer for Corey: “Please pray for Corey’s protection as he exposes the names of high profile elites and a major Hollywood studio. I pray for salvation for all as Father shakes up all that can be shaken, that He can pour Himself INTO His own!”

Continue praying for healing and renewal for the hundreds of victims who have spoken out so far, and for those who intimidated and staying quiet. Pray that God would encounter them wherever they are and that they could each experience His restoration, and that He would take away any shame or guilt they may have as victims.

Click here to see our prayer focus from a few weeks ago for more prayers regarding these issues and the many victims.

Click here for updated information on these cases.

If you’d like to suggest a future Weekly Prayer Focus and make a prayer request, email Erin at erin@hpnemail.org.