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Editor’s Note: I’m excited to announce that I’m officially the senior editor of togetherla.net. That’s where I am for the most part these days. My first column-style piece published at Together LA is republished in its entirety below. Have a story idea? Email me at alex@togetherla.net. Thanks!

If nearly two decades ago you would have asked me to explain prayer I would have had no idea how to begin.

I have found the greatest power in the world is the power of prayer. – Cecil B. DeMille

And if a Christian would have told me during my BC (Before Jesus Christ became real to me) days that prayer is about “talking and listening” to God, I would’ve probably said, “Yeah, sure.”

All I knew was that people who prayed generally went down on their knees, closed their eyes, and clasped their hands together. That’s all there is to prayer, right?

Not really. Now, as a believer, I’m convinced of the power of prayer… and its importance (it’s not about style). As Rick Warren puts it, “Prayer isn’t convincing God to do our will but aligning ourselves with His will, which requires overcoming evil with good.”

Over the last several years, I’ve had the chance to chat with Hollywood Prayer Network (HPN) founder, Karen Covell. I believe her ministry is critical to the foothold and growing influence of Christians in the entertainment industry today. I believe much of the progress the Gospel has made in movies and entertainment is the direct result of first, God’s movement, and second, the roots established by Covell and HPN beginning in 2001.

Covell, a TV producer, birthed the Hollywood Prayer Network in July of that year, because she believed that Hollywood was not “Sodom and Gomorrah” but “Nineveh” – it can be redeemed, according to the ministry’s site. HPN is a grass roots prayer ministry led by Hollywood professionals who seek to impact our culture through prayer. Over the years HPN has seen attempts to “change” Hollywood fail because content won’t change until lives change. HPN believes 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.

And that brings us to Los Angeles.

At the Together LA gathering held in 2015, when asked about how we should love on the city, Covell said, “The best way to love Los Angeles is to pray. Pray for the people here, pray for impact of this city. I learned long ago, if you pray for somebody, you can’t hate them. If you want to love LA, you pray and you ask God to come down here to show his face here, to do miracles here and you will fall in love with the city.”

As her smile widened, she added, “However, if you like good weather, you can just fall in love with it immediately by showing up. That’s easy.”

The reason I wanted to write about Karen and HPN, is because as the senior editor of the Together LA website, and while in the process of re-launching the discussion about loving on LA, I had to come up with the first set of stories. There is no better way than to start with the subject of prayer.

I have no idea how big this discussion at Together LA will become. I have no idea of how large this platform will grow or how high participation levels will rise. But I have been praying about Together LA for more than two years now…

And I know we must begin with prayer.

HPN: Have a question for the Hollywood Prayer Network? Now’s your chance to ask it! On Friday, March 10 at 10:30 a.m., we will be hosting a Facebook Live event with our very own Karen Covell! You’ll be able to ask questions during the event and have them answered live! Be sure to join us! You won’t want to miss it! Go here: https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodprayernetwork/

More on Prayer:

The Model Prayer of a Worshipper by Dwayne Moore

Quiet Time With God: It’s Simple, Really by Rick Warren

Side Note: What about “La La Land?”

The nickname for the California town whose literal translation is “City of Angels” comes from its initials: LA for Los Angeles. But “La La Land” also refers to the culture of its most notable industry, whether the reference is to the magic of its images of pretty people doing pretty things or to the instability of the various deals, relationships, and people behind them. The title of this exquisite film from writer/director Damien Chazelle refers to all of that and to the “la la” of music as well. FROM REVIEW OF LA LA LAND BY NELL MINOW