April 20, 2021 | Rich Swingle, IFA Pray with Others Live
Everyone has heard of Broadway, but you might not know how influential Broadway is over all of America, not just a few blocks in New York. The pandemic shutdowns have opened up a prayer opportunity on Broadway that we are praying will be as influential as Broadway itself.
Further, government is downstream of culture. First things are accepted and celebrated in the arts, and then they are promoted in government.
A few weeks ago, a friend texted to see if I’d like to join him in praying over the Broadway theatres since they’re “dark” right now because of the lockdowns.
I leapt at the chance!
Arts and Entertainment is one of the seven mountains of influence (along with Religion, Family, Education, Government, Media, and Business). At this time in history, most of us would agree that it is the most influential of all these mountains. There is science that explains why. The arts reach us emotionally, so the messaging bypasses any intellectual arguments we might think to challenge what we’re being told. Also, memory rides on emotions. This is why those of us who were alive on 9/11 have very vivid memories of that day. This is why billions of dollars are spent every year on advertising.
The way we feel, and then the way we think and behave are powerfully influenced by watching stories unfold.
This influence is harnessed by those who recognize its power, and we’ve all seen how the agendas being pushed in government today were promoted through arts and entertainment years before.
You probably knew that Broadway is the pinnacle of live performing arts, but it is also a pinnacle of the arts, bringing in billions of dollars in revenue every year… before the lockdowns. For example, while the highest grossing film is Avatar at $2.8 Billion, The Lion King Broadway show alone has brought in over $8.25 Billion in sales.
Though you have to visit New York City to see the actual Broadway plays and musicals, their influence spans the globe as touring companies, regional, and educational theatre pick up Broadway’s stories and tell them everywhere.
This is why I leapt at the opportunity to pray over the Broadway community while the lockdowns are keeping the footlights dark! We have an opportunity through prayer to shift the agendas that are pushed through the plays and musicals that will be produced in the future. We’re anointing the theatres with oil and praying for all involved with future productions. I happen to use some olive oil we picked up in Israel that contains myrrh, an embalming spice. Broadway has completely died, and we’re praying that as these theatres are resurrected that they’ll house stories that point people to the Lord.
I’ve long known the power of theatre to impact people for the Lord, and, since college, I’ve been performing in productions that do exactly that. In the course of my ministry, I have testimonies from 39 nations of people drawing closer to the Lord, being healed and coming to salvation because they watched a play that pointed them to the Lord.
My friend (who has asked to remain anonymous as a missionary to Broadway actors) prays over eight Broadway theatres every weekday that he’s in the city. So in about a week he covers all 41 theatres in the “Broadway Box,” bordered by 54th St, Sixth Avenue, 40th Street, and Ninth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. To be a Broadway theatre, it must be built within that box, have at least 500 seats and the approval of those who oversee Broadway.
I’m not able to join my friend every day, but I’ve committed to praying one day a week, which means I’ll cover all of them every five weeks.
The very first day I did it, I was inspired by Pray with Others Live, which Intercessors for America hosts every Tuesday at 12:15 pm Eastern (ifapray.org/live). I chose one of the eight theatres that day and did a live post of my prayer over social media. The responses showed that people are very encouraged to take part in praying over this important cultural mountain.
I made another wonderful discovery! Prayers are being answered before Broadway opens! One of the things we pray for is for provision for actors, musicians, and tech crews while they can’t work in live theatre in NYC. I got a note from a colleague, storyteller Tim Lowry (www.StorytellerTimLowry.com), a week after that first live prayer:
Thank you for praying for theatres and fellow performers. Praise to the Lord for little love notes He has sent to us this week: a bicycle for my daughter, a grocery card in an anonymous note, vegetables from a neighbor. The five loaves and two fish? That wasn’t unusual for Jesus. He does that kind of thing all the time.
Click HERE or below to watch one of my weekly prayer posts.
You can pray over more, and eventually all, the Broadway theatres with me at www.RichDrama.com/PrayOverBroadwayLive .
I hope you’ll join us in praying that the kingdom of Broadway will become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ and that He will reign forever and ever! (Revelation 11:15)
Pray with Rich for Broadway TODAY! IFA’s Pray with Others Live at 12:15 pm ET, IFApray.org/live or 712-775-7430.
Rich and Joyce Swingle are regular guest intercessors on Pray with Others Live, which Intercessors for America hosts every Tuesday at 12:15 Eastern. Rich has been involved in the performing arts and using those skills in the business world full-time since 1995. Rich has performed in about 40 films with Christian themes and tours with a dozen one-man plays he’s performed on six continents. Those plays are all based on Scripture and Church history: www.RichDrama.com. (Photo Credit: Getty Images.)