Denzel Washington Encourages Young Actors to Pray Every Morning
By Diana Anderson-Tyler, Contributing Writer
A popular Facebook video recently shared by R&B singer Tyrese Gibson showed Movieguide® Award nominee and Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington speaking to young actors about the importance of both prayer and humility before God as they achieve success on stage.
“I pray that you all put your shoes way under the bed at night so that you got to get on your knees in the morning,” Washington said, followed by an exuberant eruption of applause. “And, while you’re down there, thank God for grace, and mercy, and understanding. We all fall short of the glory. We all got plenty.”
Washington went on to underscore the foolishness of focusing on material wealth, explaining that, though he has earned millions of dollars during his career, not a cent of it will follow him into eternity.
“You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse. I’ll say it again. You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse,” the actor emphasized. “It’s not how much you have, but what you do with what you have.”
Rather than strive to accumulate wealth that is temporal, Washington exhorted his young audience to make it their goal to positively affect people with their gifts.
“We all have different gifts. . . . Use it. Share it. That’s what counts,” he said.
Washington mentioned one of his co-stars in the Broadway adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN and shared how the young actor always leads the cast in prayer before each show.
“[Bryce Clyde Jenkins] is prayed up. He just prays that we go out and touch someone tonight. He says, ‘God, somebody out there needs us tonight.’”
Mr. Washington has let it be known in various interviews that he considers his acting talent a blessing to be used to impact others.
“I asked my pastor years ago, ‘Do you think I should become a minister or preacher?’ And, he says, ‘Well, that’s what you’re doing already,’” Washington said in an interview with the Internet site, Beliefnet.
Washington’s message, while certainly needed in the fast-moving, self-promoting sphere of Hollywood, is also a relevant one for you and me. We all have a stage, a story to tell, and unique God-given gifts and abilities with which to dazzle the world for the sake of the Gospel, but, in order to make the most of our time and our talents, we desperately need the two things Mr. Washington highlighted to his captivated audience: daily prayer, and an others-oriented, eternal perspective.
– Sources: Charisma News, 05/28/14.