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Denzel Washington and director prayed every day while shooting ‘Roman J. Israel, Esq’

Anne Hathaway and Denzel Washington at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize concert. Photo Harry Wad / Wikipedia

Anne Hathaway and Denzel Washington at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize concert. Photo Harry Wad / Wikipedia

Denzel Washington, 62, has won two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor in the 1989 movie Glory and Best Actor in 2001 for his role in Training Days. He has also won a Tony Award and three Gold Globes.

Gospel Herald recently interviewed Denzel about his most recent movie, Roman J. Israel, Esq. Though, not overtly Christian, Denzel said the movie is filled with Biblical themes including sacrifice as a man gave up a successful career for a cause he believed in. The movie is scheduled for release on November 22, 2017.

In the interview, Denzel shared a couple of things I found interesting.

First, Denzel and Dan Gilroy, the producer and writer of the movie, prayed and read a Bible devotional together every day during filming. Denzel said, “Dan and I have been prayer partners during this whole collaboration.”

It is tough for Christians to speak out in Hollywood, when fellow celebrities not only oppose faith in God, but blatantly mock it.

Such as former Star Trek: The Next Generation star Wil Wheaton who mocked prayer on Twitter after the recent Church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. When House Speaker Paul Rand sent out a tweet asking people to pray for those at the church, Wheaton responded:

“The murdered victims were in a church. If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive, you worthless sack of sh–.”

There is an intense amount of pressure on Christians to just keep quiet. I have appreciated Denzel’s increasing willingness to stand for his faith particularly during these days.

The second thing I noticed is Denzel’s reference to a prophetic word that an older woman in his church gave him when he was just 20 years old. Denzel’s dad was a Pentecostal preacher.

Denzel told Gospel Herald, “I speak now and I’m doing what God told me to do from the beginning. It was prophesied that I would travel the world and preach to millions of people. It was prophesied when I was 20, I thought it was through my work and it has been.”

In an interview with Access Hollywood, Denzel shared more of the story on what happened. He even remembered the specific date that it took place because it had been written down. He received the message in a beauty parlor where his mother worked:

“It was March 27, 1975. I started acting four months later. She said, “You know young man, you are going to travel the world and speak or preach to millions of people…

She said that, and then she wrote “prophecy.” She couldn’t even spell it well. Then my mother wrote “preacher.” And then I wrote my name—and it was on a blue envelope; I still have it.

So when she left, I said to my mother, “Who was that lady?” She said, “Well, she’s one of the oldest church members in town, and she’s known to have the gift of prophecy.”

He told the Gospel Herald, “I’m all about the message, to the degree that I know it, and I’m unashamed and unafraid to share it.”

God had a purpose for Denzel when he was 20 years old.  Denzel added that he is praying for the millennials who are the same age he was when God called him.

It is difficult to share a message about God, when many on social media are mocking people of faith. Millenials need the strength to stand for their beliefs, even when their peers are shouting for them to sit down.

Denzel referred to a word that another pastor had given him, that “God puts leaders in place for a reason and a season.”


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