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October 24, 2011

Praying for Hollywood

What if we viewed the entertainment industry as a mission field rather than a battle field?

hollywood.jpg
Before turning to the more solitary confines of writing and editing, I worked as a professional actress. In college I felt strongly that Hollywood needed missionaries, undercover professionals to infiltrate the industry with the love, truth, and saving power of Christ. I wanted to be a Hollywood missionary. But I felt alone and didn’t know of anyone else thinking about Tinseltown that way.

Without the prayer support of people viewing the entertainment industry as a mission field, I eventually burned out, tired of the constant demands on me to compromise my beliefs and what I would or wouldn’t say, do, or show.

After I left that business, I met a producer, Karen Covell, who was just such a missionary. Karen told me about an organization (Hollywood Prayer Network) she was involved with that prays daily over the people working in that industry—not only for those far from Christ, but for other missionaries there. I was thrilled by her story. Someone else had felt the same burden I’d had.

She introduced me to other missionaries—including a woman, “Carol,” who works for a large production company and who, along with a small band of prayer warriors, walks its entire studio lot every day on her lunch hour praying. One day while I was visiting some friends in Southern California, Carol walked me around that studio lot and pointed out the executives’ offices and the TV shows and movies being filmed. It was my own personal backstage tour. But this one was far better: as Carol pointed everything out, she told me exactly how they pray as they approach each office, show, or building. I was overwhelmed.

“Does anyone here know this is what you’re doing?” I asked.

“No,” she said seriously. But I caught the twinkle in her eye. She was infiltrating the industry.

I hear people complain about Hollywood and its poor moral standards, and they’re right to complain. I’m right there with them! But what if every time we were tempted to complain, we instead intentionally and pointedly prayed for God to cover that industry with his holiness and love? What if we prayed for an awakening of his Spirit? What if we prayed for those Christians who are working there—that God would strengthen and encourage them to fight the good fight, to be bold, to be a light shining in the darkness?

Too often we pray but then become frustrated because we don’t see the fruit of our prayer labors. But we forget that prayer is fought in the spiritual realm and it’s a lifelong commitment. Recently I heard Larry Poland of Mastermedia, an organization that encourages good relationships between media leaders and Christians, speak about praying for Hollywood. He said that since Mastermedia’s founding in 1985, he believes there have been more than 10 million prayers that have gone up specifically for that industry. I wonder what Hollywood would look like and produce without the prayers of our brothers and sisters who have taken up that call?

A few years ago I reconnected with Karen at a conference we were both attending. I told her about a dream I’d had the night before. I dreamt that Matt Damon had become a sold-out, on-fire, powerful Christ follower. And he was turning Hollywood upside down. And the really cool part of the dream was that I was the one who led him to Jesus.

Karen laughed when I told her and nodded vigorously. But then after I finished telling her, I realized that dream could actually become a reality. I could—can!—be involved in Matt finding God. So now I pray for Matt Damon!

I believe my prayers can change Hollywood—because I believe in the God who specializes in miracles. I hope you’ll join my cause and see Hollywood as a mission field ripe for the harvest.

If you want more encouragement and direction on specifically how and for whom to pray, check out Hollywood Prayer Network and Mastermedia. They have prayer calendars, daily e-mail reminders, and e-newsletters to give you updates, prayer requests, and most important, praises.

Ginger Kolbaba, a former actress, is founding editor of Kyria.com. She is also the author of numerous books including the novel series Secrets from Lulu’s Café.

Related Tags: faith, Hollywood, Media, missions, prayer

Comments

Thank you for this article. It has never occurred to me to pray for Hollywood before. Sometimes it takes someone specifically telling us something that we think we should have come up with on our own. Thank you for sharing this with me.

Ginger,

I'm so delighted to find another person with a passion and commitment to pray for the entertainment industry. Your previous desire to be an "entertainment missionary" echo my heart 100%. I'm currently enrolled in Full Sail University's M.S. of Entertainment Business program with the intention to be trained well in order to be a light in the industry.

I'm also a part of the HPN, and have attended the Twin Cities (Minnesota) chapter monthly prayer meetings for over two years. Karen Covell and team have been a huge inspiration to me!

And, like you, I have had multiple dreams of very high-level celebrities where I am sharing the gospel or speaking truth into their lives. I believe, with all my heart, that the Lord is on the move in a MAJOR way in Hollywood and other areas of the industry.

Bless you for posting this blog!

I don't think it had occurred to me to pray for Hollywood but it is a great idea because as Cecil B. DeMille said, "I have found the greatest power in the world is the power of prayer".

So thrilled to see this article!! I have been involved in HPN for a few years and started a chapter here in my state of West Virginia. Not everyone understands the need to pray for Hollywood, but we are trying to let them see it really is "The world’s most influential mission field"!!! I have been to Hollywood twice and each time did studio prayer walks, agency prayer walks, prayer walked up and down Hollywood Boulevard and of course, met Karen and all the wonderful people at HPN office! I also shared my testmony with her how the Lord directed me to become involved with this....to pray for a celebrity....what a blessing it has been! ... and I couldn't agree more with what you said: "I believe my prayers can change Hollywood—because I believe in the God who specializes in miracles." I strongly encourage others to become involved and become intercessors for someonne in the business...you will make some wonderful friends and watch God change lives!!!

I, too have been praying for Hollywood. My heart is drawn to pray for those who are involved in the making of Christian movies, be they actor or gopher, who are not saved.

Thank you so much for writing this! I have been involved with HPN for several years and we did start a chapter here in Oregon (not very active at the moment, unfortunately) I also receive the Mastermedia prayer lists. My son, a Christian, has felt that God has called him to be an actor in Hollywood. He started his career in Oregon, but is now in California. Through him I have become even more aware of the need for prayer coverage for the Christians who are called to work there, as well as for the industry as a whole. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the faith community!

I love this article and I hope your dream comes true. With so many people watching what Lindsay Lohan is doing wouldn't it be great if we all targeted praying for her? When I see her in "The Parent Trap" and then look at her life, it is so sad. Addictions hurt so many people and families; if she would give her life over to the Lord it would make a big impact on so many people. Thanks, Ginger, for giving me a new thought on my prayer life.

Very encouraging from a mother of a daughter who feels strongly encouraged to do this in the music industry. Praying for those with this calling, while absorbed in such a dark culture remaining faithful and without compromise!

Ginger, thanks for this eye-opening article. I appreciate your challenge that, rather than complaining about the evils of Hollywood, the Lindsay Lohans or others who have dissolute lives, we pray for it and them. God's love does not discriminate.

I'm delighted that "Courageous" is doing so well in the box office. My prayer is that Hollywood's industry leaders will begin to understand that we want wholesome, dramatic stories that carry a message of hope, which is found primarily in Christ.

Ginger, thanks for this eye-opening article. I appreciate your challenge that, rather than complaining about the evils of Hollywood, the Lindsay Lohans or others who have dissolute lives, we pray for it and them. God's love does not discriminate.

I'm delighted that "Courageous" is doing so well in the box office. My prayer is that Hollywood's industry leaders will begin to understand that we want wholesome, dramatic stories that carry a message of hope, which is found primarily in Christ.

great article. I'm also a part of the HPN, and have attended the Omaha (Nebraska)

chapter monthly prayer meetings we had earlier this year but at the moment we dont have meetings cause there are few HPN supporters in Omaha who wanted to come to the meetings.

It breaks my heart there arent more like me in Omaha who support the HPN.

pray for the Omaha chapter.

I too and others pray for celebs. I btw pray for Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan and Emmy Rossum and Michelle Trachtenberg and Kat Dennings

and Ari Graynor and Sara Paxton and Lizzy Caplan and Lauren Storm among other celebs.

Praise the Lord! I too, have been praying for Hollywood and praying that the Lord will save high profile actors that will be a shining light to the rest - and yes, I believe the dream with Matt Damon can come true! We have an all powerful God who answers prayer!

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