by Lorie Lewis Ham
In July of 2001, TV producer, Karen Covell, birthed the Hollywood Prayer Network (HPN), because she believed that Hollywood was not “Sodom and Gomorrah” but “Nineveh” – it can be redeemed. HPN is a grass roots prayer ministry led by Hollywood professionals who seek to impact our culture through prayer.
“Our ultimate goal is to see spiritual revival in Hollywood,” said Karen. HPN has seen many attempts to change Hollywood fail because content won’t change until lives change, and that change can only come through God. “God is the only one who can change the lives and hearts of the decision makers, creative community, and power players in Hollywood and He will do that if His followers humble themselves and pray.”
HPN’s desire is to invite God to free the hearts and minds of media professionals by mobilizing global prayer for the world’s most influential mission field: The Entertainment Industry. “The process includes speaking more across the country to churches and Christian groups, lining up prayer partners for every Christian professional in Hollywood, and becoming a nationally recognized prayer ministry in order to mobilize more prayer across the country. I believe that prayer for Hollywood will bring a cultural revival.”
The groups’ target audience is two-fold. “First, we serve the Christians working as “tent-makers” in Hollywood,” Karen continued. As a defined group of over 6,000 people, HPN feels the Christians who work in the entertainment industry are on the front lines of the spiritual battle in Hollywood. They need to be prayed for and supported by the Church. HPN provides prayer support for them through their “I to I” (Intercessor to Industry Professional) Prayer Partnerships. “We are reaching out to Christians worldwide asking them join us in supporting these “missionaries” through prayer. We are committed to have every Christian professional in Hollywood prayed for by an intercessor outside of our workplace. If we are going to see a change in America’s programming, it must start with a change in people, one at a time, from the inside out.”
Their second target audience is Christians worldwide who want to see change in Hollywood. “For too many years the approach of Christians trying to change Hollywood has been to boycott, hate or ignore the media.” The Hollywood Prayer Network has been working to reach out to churches, para-church organizations, and individuals worldwide and inviting them to join them in praying for and loving both the non-Christians working in Hollywood and the Christians who are working there as missionaries. “We offer prayer as a positive action, versus a negative or frustrated response from Christians who don’t know what they can do to change our TV shows, internet, music and films, in order to protect our society and culture.” In the past nine years, HPN has grown to over 8,000 committed pray-ers, and 1300 prayer partners involved in “I to I”.
Another important part of HPN’s ministry is the Incognito Prayer Team. The Incognito Prayer Team is HPN’s way to encourage people across the globe to pray for Hollywood celebrities and decision-makers whom they don’t know but have a heart to pray for. Hundreds of their members have joined the IPT in order to pray for one or more “cultural influencers” asking God to touch their hearts and lives with His unconditional love. In 2010, HPN wants to be able to email out more personal, true information about these “influencers” to their IPT pray-ers so that they know more specifically how they can be praying.
Actor, writer, and producer Shun Lee Fong has been an HPN volunteer since moving to Los Angeles in 2003. Shun Lee also shares office space with HPN and is the Director of two other Hollywood based ministries. “HPN is faithful to remind the Christian Church and the general public that creative artists, as human beings created in God’s image, stand in equal need of prayer, love, grace, and kindness. HPN has been consistent in its call to cease judgment and criticism towards the entertainment industry and the creative professionals that are in it, and instead to pray for God’s blessings, redemption, and life to continue to move in Hollywood.”
The ministry of HPN is spreading across the globe with people contacting them from all over the world wanting to become involved. There are now 51 active chapters worldwide, some of which have their own websites.
Caren Bream has been the prayer coordinator at HPN for the past three years. She believes that HPN plays an important role in Hollywood and throughout the world by encouraging Christians to be a light while they are working in the Industry and by raising awareness as to what God is doing there. “God is touching the hearts and lives of so many people as they work in the Industry and it is a privilege to be used to minister to those people and share with others how God’s kingdom is advancing.”
Some of the many ways Christians can get involved in this ministry and help spread the word about its existence include “The Hollywood Tribe” DVD, remote prayer stickers, 90028 prayer wristbands, speaking to churches and universities, prayer walks at major studios and Beverly Hills talent agencies, ministry brochures, online Kids Prayer Calendar, local chapters, and prayer groups and events.
HPN also has bi-weekly Thursday night prayer time, a quarterly corporate prayer event which includes a 24/7 prayer room, the National Day of Prayer Event, first Friday day of prayer and fasting for Hollywood for their local chapter directors, Hollywood Missions Trips for churches and other ministries, and they co-sponsor prayer events with other groups.
Their desire is to continue to grow and reach more and more of the Hollywood community for Christ. As they grow, their needs grow as well, both financial and for more volunteers in all areas, and of course more prayer warriors. Part of the challenge is to help spread the word to more Christians across the country about HPN. HPN is involved in so many wonderful things it would be impossible to share them all here in one story, so I recommend that you visit the HPN website and Facebook page.
Every Christian can pray, and prayer can change the world. Why not get involved in praying for one of the biggest and most influential mission fields in the world, Hollywood. If you want to get involved locally, there is a Fresno Chapter who is seeking out local members with the desire to have local prayer meetings and events. If you are interested, you can check out the Fresno Chapter HPN Facebook group
“I don’t believe that anything changes without prayer. It is a commandment and God gets a chance to move miraculously when we invite him into circumstances and people’s hearts,” said Karen. “I am so passionate about the need for Christians in America to pray for the people of Hollywood because I believe it is the world’s most influential mission field! And the whole world will be impacted by the prayers for the decision-makers and cultural influencers in Hollywood.”
Authors note: I myself am a long time member, supporter, and chapter head with HPN.