Prophet Shawn Bolz: How to Pray for Celebrities, Athletes Who Have COVID-19

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson (Reuters)
While everyone who is suffering is worthy of prayer, often celebrities live a very isolated life already because of their talent or reputation. Cultural celebrities are leaders in society and sometimes have more influence through one tweet or Instagram message then the governing authorities. Praying for people of influence and leaders in culture is not only important during times like this, but is part of the biblical mandate that Paul lays out through Scripture:

"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Tim. 2:1-2, NIV).

Showing compassion on people who often are only celebrated for their performance or influence is something Christians can do to really connect the heart of God to this generation of popular culture leaders. Let's pray for the recovery and healing of the following individuals:

Idris Elba: One of the world's favorite actors has coronavirus. He posted a video on social media on Monday to announce that he had COVID-19. "Listen, I'm doing OK," he said in the video, appearing with his wife, Sabrina. "I didn't have any symptoms," he added. Elba, who played Stringer Bell on The Wire and Heimdall in The Avengers and Thor movies, said he got tested because he had been exposed to someone who had tested positive. "I will keep you updated as how I'm doing. So far, we're doing OK," said Mr. Elba.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson: The Academy Award-winning actor and his wife, Ms. Wilson, both 63, said in a statement on March 11 that they were in Australia and had tested positive for the coronavirus. Hanks was set to film a movie there about the life of Elvis Presley. He posted a statement on Instagram "We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers, too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus, and were found to be positive." Days later, they posted another update, saying that they were "taking it one day at a time." Their son, Chet Hanks, said in a video that they had been released from a hospital and were in self-isolation.

Rachel Matthews: The actress, who was the voice of Honeymaren in Frozen II, said on Instagram on Monday that she tested positive and had been in quarantine for the past week. "I'm feeling better," she said. She listed her symptoms for the past seven days, beginning with a sore throat and fatigue on the first day to shortness of breath and loss of appetite more recently. "Rest, drink lots of liquids and self-quarantine," she said. On Instagram, she also wrote: "A lot of you have expressed being scared," she wrote in an Instagram post responding to fan questions. "Please don't be. It's all going to be okay but it is important we act now and take this seriously.

Kristofer Hivju: Like many actors who take their leadership in culture not just onscreen seriously, Hivju encouraged safety in the midst of his own recovery. The Games of Thrones actor said in an Instagram post on Monday that he had tested positive for the virus and that he, along with his family, was in isolation. "We are in good health—I only have mild symptoms of a cold," Hivju, 41, said. He urged people to take precautions and to distance themselves from others. "Together we can fight this virus and avert a crisis at our hospitals," he said.

Olga Kurylenko: The actress, perhaps best known for her role in the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace and the Magic City television series, said on Instagram on Sunday that she had tested positive for the virus. "I've actually been ill for almost a week now," Kurylenko said. "Fever and fatigue are my main symptoms." She followed up on 3/18 on Instagram sharing that her immune system is stronger, her fever is gone and what her treatment is like in London and is extremely optimistic. In a follow-up post, Kurylenko, 40, described how her fever had risen and said she was unsure how she might have contracted the virus. "Impossible to know," she said. "It could be anywhere. I could have touched a taxi handle and gotten it from there."

Kevin Durant: Kevin Durant is among four Nets players who tested positive for the coronavirus. Durant confirmed the positive test to The Athletic and said he is feeling fine and is isolating to take care of his immune system.

Andrew Watt: The producer most notable for Post Malone says he's tested positive for coronavirus; "this is not a joke." "Yesterday I was given the results that I am positive for COVID-19. I wanted to tell you all about my journey getting here in an effort to bring awareness to the severity of what's happening in the world," he wrote. Watt, who has worked with Cardi B, Post Malone and Ozzy Osbourne, said on the morning of March 6 he started feeling like he was "hit by a bus. I couldn't move out of my bed for days and started to run a fever." Watt implored everyone to stop everything they're doing and take care of themselves and the people around them, a plea that came even as images emerged of spring breakers packing the beaches in Florida amid the national health crisis. He sent an especially urgent note to the young people who are not taking the warnings to isolate seriously enough because they think they won't get infected. "To have the mentality 'I'm young this can't affect me' is just straight up stupid and so dangerous to everyone around you," he wrote.

How can we pray?

God, I pray that You would remove the coronavirus from their bodies. Strengthen their immune systems. Let the symptoms stop now. Let the fever die. Let their bodies regain your full measure of health that You intended for their lives. Thank you, Jesus, that You died for everyone on the earth and that Your blood can heal even those who may not know You. I pray that You would help them in their time of need, help their families, and we pray they would not infect anyone around them. God, give them grace in their emotions; let them feel Your love and true family and friendship support around them. Take away anxiety, pain and frustration from their emotions. Let them encounter You, Jesus, through Your Holy Spirit. Surround them with loving Christians, whether it's their medical staff, people on social media, people they have met who reach out to them via phone and text; let them be surrounded by Your love and Your relational plan for their lives. In Jesus' name, amen.

Shawn Bolz is the host of the Exploring the Prophetic podcast, interviewing everyday people about how hearing from God has changed their lives and the world around them, on the Charisma Podcast Network. Visit

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