‘Praying for Hollywood’ Causes Division Among Christian Intercessors

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Hollywood – the hub of arts and entertainment – in the United States of America (USA) is described as the world’s most influential mission field and praying for the practitioners in this mission field stirs controversy among Christians.

Founding Director of the Hollywood Prayer Network (HPN) Karen Covell disagrees that Hollywood is Sodom and Gomorrah. She says it’s more of a place of spiritual warfare and a place that’s redeemable but many Christians disagree, pointing to the negative effects of Hollywood ‘perverted and indecent contents they influence the world with.

HPN is a movement of prayer for the artists and professionals in Hollywood. Covell strongly believes God can transform the hearts in the global entertainment industry with love, encouragement and through the power of prayer.

HPN currently reaches over 15,000 intercessors around the world with over 70 HPN Chapters. They also host Quarterly Prayer Nights, sponsor Studio Lot Prayer Walks, and put on various events in and for the Hollywood community.

She said: “I became a Christian in college and got out into the real world as a producer and realized I had a foot in the church and a foot in the entertainment industry and neither of them liked each other. There is a gap between the two and I wanted to build that bridge. I knew I couldn’t get anyone in Hollywood to like the church because we’ve boycotted, wrote nasty letters and pointed fingers. I figured I can get Christians to pray for the people in Hollywood because when you pray for somebody, you can’t hate them. I want them [the church] to pray instead of judging or pray instead of boycotting. I had no idea what a tough battle it was”.

Meanwhile, other Christians and servants of God argued that saying the truth about the lifestyle of the people in Hollywood and the unGodly content they promote does not mean they are being judged and they are not bigger than the truth of the word of God.

Meanwhile Covell said began receiving repugnant correspondence from people because of her pro-pray-for-Hollywood stance and for nearly two decades, HPN now has 140 Chapters in 35 different countries as she never gave up.

The prayer network now has over 2,000 prayer partners who intercede for people working in the industry and a prayer newsletter that goes out twice a month.

Covell said people are starting to understand that Hollywood is the most influential mission field in the world.

She advised that Christians should be embracing people of the arts because it’s a part of our culture and that Christians should be sent to Hollywood to use their gifts and talents there.

It was reported that HPN has received many calls (some anonymous) from people working in the field to pray for them. One producer called for prayers as his wife was sent to the ICU from an allergic reaction.

The producer said over the phone: “I found you online and heard you pray people. I don’t want to lose my wife, please pray for me.”

He didn’t want a follow-up call, he just thanked Covell for praying.

Covell related that she once invited 100 prayer warriors to a Universal Studio screening to discuss the spiritual themes of a secular film and that a man came and asked if she and the group where Christians. He asked what kind of Christian are you? Covell asked back, “Well, what are my options?” He said he was gay. “God loves you as much as He loves me,” she affirmed. He never met a believer who accepted him. They stay in touch today”.

“When we pray for repentance in the lives of unbelievers, we agree with God that He doesn’t want any man should perish as recorded in Peter. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Covell has been working to reach out to churches, para-church organizations worldwide to love both the non-Christians working in Hollywood and the Christians who are working as missionaries to change Hollywood from the inside out.

Christians can’t make non-believers make movies they want to see. It needs to come from a more profound place from those creatives.

She argued further that content of projects will never change until the hearts of the people are changed. “You create it from your experience, your belief system.”

She said we need to see Hollywood from a position of love, not judgment and critics emphasise she must not confuse the truth for judgement.

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