Celebrity Prayer Focus

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.

Weekly Prayer Focus: Grammy Awards

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This week, we want to pray for the Grammy nominees, audience, and everyone involved in the 60th Grammy Awards on January 28th, 2018. The awards show will air at 4:40pm PST on CBS from their live show at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. The host is James Corden and there will be performances from major bands and artists all evening. They will honor the best songs, albums and scores of 2017.

There are dozens of nomination categories for the Grammy awards, so we suggest you choose one category and pray for all of the nominees in it. Click here to see the full list of nominees by category.

There will also be performances throughout the awards show, and we want to pray for all of the artists. Click here to see a list of performers announced so far.

This week and as you watch the Grammy Awards on Sunday, pray for all of the artists and musicians who are nominated. We give thanks to God for the creative gifts He has given them, whether they are a singer, instrumentalist, rapper, songwriter, producer, engineer, mixer, soloist, ensemble, composer, lyricist, arranger, art director, conductor, or anyone else involved in the process. We pray that God will make Himself known to these artists, and that they will know their creativity is a gift from Him. Pray that as the artists encounter God, their hearts would change – and as a result, their art would change to increasingly reflect God’s character. Pray also for the Christian and Gospel music nominees, that they would be encouraged to continue making creative and engaging music that helps people experience the Lord. We pray for the audiences who enjoy music by all of these artists daily, and that God would use this music – no matter the genre – to approach them and show them His goodness.

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