The director of Hollywood Prayer Network, a ministry devoted to praying for people having careers in all areas of the creative arts industry, says that Christians would be better served by praying for changed lives, not boycotting movies and shows they find immoral.
Karen Covell, who founded the ministry 10 years ago, said that money is not the motivating factor when it comes to the media content created in Hollywood. She said people outside the industry have misconceptions about what motivates people working in the business.
“People think Hollywood is run by money, but it’s not,” Covell said. “It’s run by a worldview. Money is part of that worldview, but not the whole issue. Boycotting is not going to change it.
“I’ve never met anyone that’s become a Christian because of a boycott.”
The Hollywood Prayer Network website is a place for members to post prayer requests and includes not only prayers for celebrities, but for everyone involved in the film and TV industry. According to Covell, there are 10,000 members and 6,000 of those members are from Hollywood.
“The other misnomer people have about Hollywood is that [producers and writers] should just change the content,” she said. “You can’t make people write differently. You have to pray for God to change their hearts and then they will create different content because their hearts changed.”
Covell said she’s seen a change in Christians’ attitude about Hollywood in the last five years. “People either hate it or are afraid of it or they simply mass consume it without discernment. All three issues stop people from praying.”
The online site currently features a sidebar column for prayer requests from Justin Bieber’s mom asking God for her son’s protection from the evils of the Hollywood culture.
"Justin is 17 years old and has become a global phenomena, not yet understanding that celebrity can be more of a curse than a blessing. His mom asked that we pray for both of them, to keep their eyes on Jesus, to make wise decisions and not be swept into the dangerous mindset that fame and celebrity suck people into," the posting says.
Covell added, “It’s been an incredible spiritual battle when it comes to celebrities. We understand how serious it is for young people who run into the pitfalls of celebrities. We ask God to help Justin and others maneuver the absolute power of celebrity that can confuse their thoughts or drive them away from what’s right.”
In addition to being the director of the Hollywood Prayer Network, Covell is the co-founder and producer for JC Productions, an independent television and music production company.
Covell recently wrote in a column: “In the U.S., while Washington is the global seat of power, Hollywood is the global seat of influence. But instead of rallying to pray, as many have done for Washington, Christians often have rallied to rail against Hollywood. Even Christians in the media have struggled with trying to love the people here.
God's greatest commandment is to love him and then love others as ourselves. We must love our peers in our industry and ask God to touch and move them, to humble themselves before him, and to change us so that our hearts break for them. Then and only then will we see lives change – starting with our own.”