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HOLLYWOOD PRAYER WALK & My OSCAR EXPERIENCE

By: Christi Given

THE VISION: TO WALK AROUND HOLLYWOOD & PRAY

It all started when I felt the promptings of the Holy Spirit to tell me to start a Hollywood prayer walk about a week or two ago. (In the middle of the month of February 2016) Within the past year, I have been actively involved in an industry Bible Study, called, “MFC” that serves people in the entertainment fields. Last week I checked the Facebook page for the industry study and ironically at the same time I was having the promptings of the Holy Spirit to walk around Hollywood like Joshua did with Jericho; simultaneously, my friend Caren Elle, (who is also in the study), felt the same thing. My friend Caren initiated the Hollywood Oscar prayer walk under the umbrella of the global ministry of “Models For Christ”  I was blown away to see that the Lord was confirming this in my heart and that He was already setting it up. In the meantime, I had been gifted a book from MFC called, “The Circle Maker, (Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears),” written by Mark Batterson. I just happened to be reading about Joshua and Jericho and in the particular chapter I was in, the author was saying, “KEEP CIRCLING JERICHO” (or in my terms, keep circling and praying for revival in Hollywood and the industry as a whole.)

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[Image: The Models For Christ Image I saw on Facebook About the Prayer Walk in Hollywood for the 2016 Oscars confirming my vision of a Hollywood Prayer Walk]

I just love what God does when He confirms His Word, keeps His promises, and shows us that HIS way is HIGHER. In part one, the first circle is, “DREAM BIG,” and I have been told by many people recently to do just that and God has confirmed through friends that God is in the inner and outer circles of life and is the great connector and real manager of my life. I love how the author on page 44 says, “Dreaming is a form of praying, and praying is a form of dreaming.” Love that, and I agree that God puts desires in our hearts, and as we get closer to Him He alters those desires to be HIS desires for HIS glory. Another part of the book says,

” God does miracles for one reason and one reason alone: to spell HIS GLORY. We might just happen to be the beneficiaries.” -The Circle Maker

“And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:2-4)

Speaking of the confirmations of “dreaming big,” I was recently overhearing about the 60th Anniversary special of Disney (see LA Times link below) and one of the kids I work with wrote a bio of Walt Disney’s life…who was a major dreamer and doer. “When you wish upon a star your dreams will come true…” 

[Source: http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-84491337]

We know as believers in Christ, we pray to God and we aren’t wishing but rather praying and seeking the Lord, but yes, having the faith like a child is what God wants and I think seeing this biography and hearing about the anniversary of Disney was a reminder to keep dreaming and envisioning for great things in Hollywood. (Habakkuk 2)  Of course the dream is to reach souls, advance the Kingdom, and for me it is to lead people in worship and into God’s presence but I love how many things just confirm and tie together.


"THE CIRCLE MAKER" BY MARK BATTERSON

[Image: Part 1 from “The Circle Maker” By: Mark Batterson]

HOLLYWOOD PRAYER WALK

Yesterday, on Sunday February 28, 2016 there were 6 girls total to pray for the city of Hollywood, and the industry as a whole. Christi (me), Caren, Anne, Lacey, Song, and Sandy. Song was from out of town and flew out to just be apart of what God is doing. Song, who flew in by faith from out of town, also prayed and gave each of us some encouraging words. See the picture below:

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[Image: Christi, Anne, Caren, Sandy, Lacey, and Song.]

We started the day with meeting together on La Brea at the Mosaic church, then the CVS on Hollywood Blvd, and we were going to walk and pray where God led us. Caren and I carpooled and off the bat had many miracles. First, we found a great parking spot and even met a guy named Bryan from Mosaic who helped give us a parking pass, was very friendly and not to mention, he came out of nowhere when Caren and I needed to find out about the parking because of the craziness from the Oscars. Bryan was so beyond helpful and even opened the doors of the church to let us borrow his phone charger which was portable. (Caren was worried her phone would die, and of course as always, God provided.)

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[Image: Bryan who helped us find parking, lent us a portable charger, & more! Love his shirt, “MAN OF GOD.” God has a sense of humor. He really showed us He was with us that day.]

Caren and I proceeded to meet the girls where we prayed behind Subway, and Caren asked us to pray for 2 celebrities each that God put on our heart. I felt led to pray for Tom Hanks and for Leonardo Dicaprio. Ironically, Leonardo won for “Best Actor,” after years of being nominated and working hard as a phenomenal actor. We prayed each person God placed on our hearts would use their influence well and also that they would find the Lord Jesus. We prayed that after all success, they would know there is still something more…

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We split off two by two to go out and walk the town and pray to see where God would take us. Me and Anne were paired {the girl on the left in the photo above.} Next, Sandy and Lacey were paired off, and then Caren and Song were to walk together. We prayed different people along the way, I took photos and documented what God was doing and also not to mention, we kept running into each other amidst the blocked off streets, the crowds, and in the midst of the chaos. I couldn’t believe how much fan fare there was, and it grieved my heart to see the idolatry (modern day idol worship), and realized how badly the Gospel really needs to get out.

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So many people are looking for love, affirmation and for validation. Many on this day felt rejected, or maybe “unimportant,” while of course honoring those who have worked hard is good, many just seemed lost and almost like fascinated by the Academy Awards event. Had it not been for the prayer walk, I probably wouldn’t have gone and there were several moments when I wanted to flee the area and just go to church to worship, but I realized I was on an assignment, to re-claim the territory back for God’s glory in music, worship, and that the films and media would get out HIS name…that the Gospel WILL be preached through the industry called, “HOLLYWOOD.”

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[Image: The correspondent to pray and reach those with the Gospel. Haha I made this pic prior to getting Caren on the way, I think God wants me to be HIS journalist, sharing the “GOOD-NEWS.” If you want to know if Christians have fun, the answer is YES!]

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[Image: A run in with the other prayer group…God is so good!]

NO ACCESS TO LIMITED ACCESS

Next, we headed back to the Roosevelt Hotel, which was pretty difficult to enter unless you had a VIP pass which cost about $150.00 to have dinner and watch the Oscars on a screen in the hotel ballroom hosted by the Hollywood Roosevelt, and included would be food, drinks and so forth. I had seen two blonde girls who looked like twins when I first entered into the Roosevelt, and when my friend Anne, (my prayer partner) and I had initially walked into the hotel, there was strong security in the sense that they asked if you were staying there and or I assume were wondering if you had a pass for the special event. We had none, but we were able to enter anyways.

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[Image: Me & the Twins]

Fast forward at the end of our prayer walk, I asked God to use me as I was getting tired and was ready to head to church in DTLA. After Caren, Song, Anne, and I ran into each other and decided to head back to eat at the hotel’s restaurant 25 Degrees, I see the same girls again. They turn around and ask me if I am from their hometown, (as they were just visiting), and yes they were twins! They told me about their VIP passes and how much they were and so forth, and they had to run, as they were leaving on a big trip the next week. Deep down I wanted the passes to borrow, but I knew they were costly, as well as I had just met the girls, but the Lord assured me I wouldn’t need a pass for what HE would do that evening. (Crazy, I know.) The girls ended up not coming back but it was interesting how God took me on this intricate journey. Next thing, the girls wanted a photo with me because they think they maybe saw me from JUCE TV, or something and they knew I did music, so I took the photo and we headed on our way to eat.

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[Image: http://25degreesrestaurant.com ]

TWENTY-FIVE DEGREES

The whole prayer team re-gathered to meet at the home base of fellowship at the restaurant in the Roosevelt Hotel, which God ordered our steps to. (We were planning on a eating at a buffalo wing place originally), but I felt in the spirit God would do something great in the Roosevelt that evening. JUST as we sit down, across from our booth there were about 5 gentleman with red carpet credentials hanging from their necks, as though they just came from the Oscars. (Which, they were in fact from the Academy Awards E News Coverage.) One of the guys, Thomas, exclaims, “CAREN!” They hug, talk, laugh, and catch up, and lo and BEHOLD….Caren formerly worked with a guy from the team (on E News) who was doing interviews on the red carpet. Small world, and what a timely, appointed moment.

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[Source: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1112984/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cr138 ]

Tom from E News was very friendly, and shared about how he just had a shunt put into his heart or had some kind of surgery done. I look at him after hearing about all of this, and tell him, “God will heal your heart.” He smiles and we carry on, order our burgers and sweet potato fries, and him and his friends order Guinness shakes. (Never heard of those it was news to me…lol)  We all end up taking a picture at the booth, as my sister in Christ Elvina, calls and is on the phone with me. Thomas makes me laugh because he said, “ELVINA, YOU ARE IN THE PICTURE…” and we take a group photo (see below.)  Well later in the evening, she really WOULD be in the picture, because as she was visiting Los Angeles, she was heading home on the freeway but decided to turn around and join me, and she said she just “happened” to be dressed up.

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As Tom goes back to his table to have his milkshake on his break before the next red carpet filming, the two girls Sandy and Lacey shared some stories about their adventure and how they prayed and talked to a single Mom, raising two kids on her own with no help and no job. The woman’s name was LaShonda and she was a believer, who was sober and in desperate need of help. Lacey and Sandy put their thinking caps on, and referred her to a hotel (with low rates to help her out), as well as set up a “GO FUND Me” to help her and her two kids. Caren helped arrange it too and between some of the girls bought her a hotel for the evening. Seriously, how amazing to help a single Mom, on the day of the Oscars and to actually DO something about it! That is Kingdom work right there, love it.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” – JESUS {Matthew 25:31-40}
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Click here to help donate to the GO FUND ME Project, supported by MFC:

https://www.gofundme.com/gyrshme4

Another point to add, there were free Bibles at the Mosaic church, I felt led to grab just one, and put it in my purse for the road at the beginning of the day. After we ate and wrapped up our meal, we headed downstairs to talk and take pictures, and film a clip for their idea for the “Go Fund Me” Project that Lacey and Sandy wanted to initiate. (Watch the Youtube clip here.) Lo and behold, out of no where comes LaShonda and her two kids with her stroller. She didn’t even know we were there in the Roosevelt and came to the area we were filming for the Youtube “Go Fund Me” project for her. We all got to meet her, I got to give her the Bible (she doesn’t own one), and we were able to help her somewhat for the day (including gummy bears I had in my purse for the precious kids), and also Caren, Lacey and Sandy were able to help get her information for a shelter and set her up with a room at a hotel nearby.

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Everyone dispersed and some went home, but for me, God still had me on assignment, and my friend Elvina was meeting me at the hotel. Moments after her arriving there on Hollywood Blvd at the Roosevelt, we gathered near a private party area, where we ended up seeing the abrupt exclamation regarding Leonard Dicaprio’s win and ended up with a group of people celebrating his victory! This was also a way for us to be in the midst of the private party where God opened another door for me and Elvina.

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Next, Elvina and I meet a French actor upstairs on his way to an after party and asked if we were going. We literally were open to what God had that evening, and we ended up in the “Spare Room” at the Roosevelt and God really had His hand on us that evening. The room was an exclusive area with a vintage bowling lane or two and had two rows of low seating and tables with dim lighting that had wooden bingo boards on the tables. Sunday was bingo night, and we decided to play, eat and visit. We talked to our friend Max about acting, and even got to share who Jesus was with him. He was a kind and young humble man who was fun to talk to and who was also I think blown away by what God did next. Suddenly, a voice comes on through the loud speaker in the dim, old fashioned lounge that says, “AN OSCAR WINNER HAS ENTERED THE ROOM!” I had ordered a brat, because at the restaurant I only ate a few fries and had been fasting all day, so I was enjoying my meal.

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As I look up, I feel I am transported into a movie or a dream and see a group of well dressed men and women, (obviously just off the Academy Award train), who are laughing, and bouncing around 2 Oscars. My friend leans over, and says, “Go take a picture!” I already was wrestling with this in my head and thought, LORD YOU ARE THE REAL PRIZE…but I couldn’t deny how COOL God was to let me be in this VIP after party, from NO ACCESS to VIP ACCESS just as God told me. This isn’t about the Oscar or the celebrity but all about what GOD CAN DO and that He really is the very important person (V.I.P.) when you roll with God He can open doors no man can shut. (Revelation 3, Isaiah 22:22)

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[Image: Photo I took of the producer James for the Oscar Winning Documentary “AMY” and audio man Stephen Griffiths the supervising sound editor]

[Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5183632]

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The producer and the audio engineer were kind enough to let me take a photo with the Oscar, (which was very heavy by the way.) It was exciting and I realized I was on this journey all day on purpose, for purpose to share God’s light and to pray for revival in Hollywood.

As the night was winding down and the Oscar winners left the “Spare Room,” Elvina and I decided to hang by the DJ booth for a minute. As we were about to leave, I see a lady with an adorable sparkley bow in her hair and see her dress reminds me of Alice and Wonderland meets Cinderella! I thought, ‘what a pretty dress!’ I decided to compliment her and we ended up chatting and it turns out she is a Christian too and never goes to these types of after parties like me and we connect and talk about Jesus and all He is doing! She tells me she does videography and we connect and take a picture! So neat to see God was with me every step of the way!

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I was also able to minister a bit to a Leo look-alike whom I called  “Leo’s little brother,” and who just lost a loved one the week prior. I knew the seeds were being sown into different hearts and lives and knew the night was coming to a close. I look over and see a guy with a really cool gold metallic jacket that reminds me of something Michael Jackson would have worn and realize it is Orlando Jones. (Many of you know him from “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Sleepy Hallow,” the 7-Up Commercials, and much more.) Elvina and I end up talking to him, taking a photo, and turns out he is very humble and kind. So nice meeting him! We end the night on a high note and I really reflected over all God had done! Wow! What a day and what a night! God is so good!

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[Image: Christi Given & Orlando Jones at the Spare Room]

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I pray my Hollywood prayer walk and Oscar story blessed you and I pray that you would consider partnering with me and others in the industry to really seek God. Let us pray for the media in general, for more positive music and films that will point people to what really matters which is the Lord. (John 3) May God bless you!

Find me on Social Media: @ChristiGiven

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