There has been a lot of great news this week. So let’s hop right into it!
Awards season is an opportunity for a lot of prayer and testimony of progress in Hollywood. Unfortunately, the general thought about awards season is that there can only be one winner – but this is simply not true. Artists, by nature, probably deal with rejection more than any other profession on the face of the earth. So this can be a point of prayer.
For instance, the Hollywood Prayer Network released a Bible devotional through the Bible App on the issue of Rejection. This can be really helpful for any artist – but we should especially keep in mind those who are nominated during the award’s season. Luckily, organizations like the Hollywood Prayer Network exist to provide prayer partners, events, and Bible-based materials to help those in the entertainment industry because they view it as the single most important mission field on the face of the earth. And our first piece of news this week? The reversal of rejection! Earlier in the week the Academy of Arts and Sciences announced it would be cutting the presentation of 4 awards during its televised broadcast: editing, cinematography, live-action short film, and make-up and hair styling.
However, in just two days – after I am sure a lot of praying and a lot of protest including a letter signed by some major movers and shakers which can be read here: Open Letter – the Academy reversed its decision and announced it would be celebrating and telecasting all of the awards categories. Although, on the surface, this doesn’t seem directly linked to Holywood and the Kingdom of God, we believe it is. “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). So why should we be here on earth? An article announcing the decision – after the Academy fought back against doing so – can be found here in Rollingstones.
Upon review of the website for the Oscars one can discover the hierarchy that exists – a branch executive committee under a Board of Governors where all membership applications are filed.
So, it’s helpful to keep in prayer all of the members of the Academy. They may all have great accomplishments and be very talented in their fields, but none of this excuses them from acts of mercy and justice. Seeing as how the Academy just went through its largest influx of diversity in its entire history, the reversal may be perceived as evidence of changes for the better in the Academy. Let us continue to watch and pray!
Now, in the music world, we have two artists and four different awards to give gratitude for. Tori Kelly and Lauren Daigle both won two Grammy’s each this year – not only for their musical excellence, but for their Christian ambassadorship in the epoch we are living in. Tori Kelly took a leap of faith and got married this year while Lauren Daigle faced tons of backlash for performing on the Ellen show. With a doubt, the presentation of these awards are not only for musical accomplishment, but for the kind of role-models that artists can be and, dare we say, the purity of their hearts. In both cases, we can truly say that we are praying for and blessing both Tori and Lauren through this big step in both of their artistic journeys! They say a picture says a thousand words so we decided to link to this article which has some wonderful pictures from the evening: Premier UK.
Lastly, we have another beautiful award’s night story that actually comes from the United Kingdom. Here’s the video of her acceptance speech which was not scripted at all. She thanks God numerous times and also gives a message of hope to young people struggling with depression. Leticia Wright is known most through her acting in Black Panther, which is also nominated for Best Picture in the Academy Awards. Her speech, “Thank God” is really touching and inspiring not just for people of faith, but for those who have struggled with mental illness, also.
Since we usually close with a prayer, we thought it would be appropriate to directly take scriptures and thoughts out of the Hollywood Prayer Network’s Bible App devotional. Let’s not only pray this for ourselves, but for all those who are in the entertainment industry. Here it is:
Psalms 66: 20:
I Timothy 4:4-5:5
Dear God, I praise You, for You have not rejected my prayer or withheld Your love from me! I know, Lord, that You will not reject Your people and You will never forsake me, who is Your inheritance. I praise Your holy name and embrace You as You have embraced me. Please give me the wisdom to not judge, accept, or reject people by their outward appearance, but to be like You and look at people’s hearts. Thank you that nothing is more important to You than my heart and my intentions. How sobering that You reject people who appear to be great in our eyes but whom You can see as hypocrites, phonies, or liars. Don’t let me reject anyone whom You see as beautiful on the inside! You equipped 72 people and sent them through the land to tell people about You, giving them the power and authority to speak truth to the masses. Your promise to them is the same as it is to me today; that because I represent You, I am empowered to live a Christ-like life with the confidence that if anyone rejects me they will be rejecting You. Please remind me that I can’t take people’s responses personally, as long as I’m living for You.
Jesus, it’s sobering to know that You were rejected by the people You loved and that we can be rejected by people as well. But thank You that I am chosen by You and I’m precious to You. Your children are like living stones being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood. I want to keep offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to You. Don’t ever let me reject You, Lord, for You have chosen me! I reject every kind of evil in my life. I want to love people but I want to see where the enemy is working and reject His evil deeds and avoid his fiery darts. Please give me wisdom to see evil for what it is and the discernment to know when to turn away and flee and when to stand up against it. Help me to fight the spiritual battles, without fear, in Your name. Thank You for protecting me against evil and showing me how to reject it, but helping me to not fear it so I can stand strong against the spirits and principalities in the heavenly realms.
Oh Lord, teach me how to accept all people, regardless of their color, education, background, attitudes, life styles, or personal choices. Please help me to remember that You have accepted me, just as I am, so, I need Your help to understand that this isn’t about me or other people, but I need to accept others so that it can bring praise to You. I know that everything You have created is good and nothing is to be rejected. I want to receive everything you give me, with thanksgiving, even if it doesn’t appear to be good. I know that everything that happens to me, everything You give me and everything around me, is consecrated by Your word and my prayers. So, let me embrace everything that comes my way as good, or as something that You can turn in to good. Amen.