The color purple has taken on new significance in the last weeks of our culture. Since the death of Prince, we have seen this color memorialized in connection to this iconic pop star. I didn’t listen to Prince’s music in the ’80’s, but I am sad at the report of anyone’s death. We are entering a new era of pop culture, the death of our entertainment heroes. The recent passing of Prince has uncovered an overwhelming amount of media coverage and gatherings of people to pay tribute to Prince. I never realized how powerful Prince was in the music culture and how powerful his death affected so many people.
Prince’s death challenges me to question just how much I pray for iconic celebrities, for people who will never know my name. According to CNN, Prince was baptized as a Jehovah Witness in 2003 and was active in Bible studies and presentations in his local Kingdom Hall. I wonder if Prince was ever exposed to evangelicalism or baptist teachings growing up. I wonder who in Prince’s life prayed for him to come to the light of the Gospel of Truth?
Praying for celebrities may seem a little foreign to some. Most of our teachings on prayer comes from within the church and directed toward the church or our family. The idea of praying for a celebrity on television just does not seem like praying for real people. It is almost as if not even God could reach someone who is a celebrity. He can. He does, and we should pray for celebrities.
There is a crowd of celebrities that need prayer, your prayer. The media will make sure you know about their demise or death, when they experience a messy divorce or are caught in less than proud moments. Their life may be memorialized in every arena of our culture. But, who is praying for them?
There is a Country music artist that I have been praying for years. He does not know me or my prayers for his soul. I will never meet him or correspond with him, but my God is working on him even today. Just as he will never know me, I may never see the fruit of my praying until we are collected to our eternal home in heaven. If I do not pray, who will?
How do you pray for someone that may not want your prayers or their religion rejects your God and your prayers? Colossians 1:9 says, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,” Celebrities need exactly the same thing the rest of us need, salvation from Christ and strength to walk in holiness before the Lord.
I am praying for the day when we hear of the death of a celebrity and the lead story line is “This famous man died with a Bible in his hand, while driving home from church, after buying a homeless man Sunday lunch.” God let be said of me as well.