by Alikay Wood
A-listers share their experience with prophecies, visions, timely interventions and other mysterious encounters.
Before he was an Oscar-winning actor, Denzel Washington failed out of college and didn’t know what he wanted to do. It was the words of a stranger he encountered in his mother’s beauty parlor that changed everything. She asked Washington for a pen and paper. “I have a prophecy,” she told him. “Boy, you are going to travel the world and speak to millions of people.” A few months later, Washington decided to become an actor, and in the years since he has gone around the world and influenced the lives of millions. “What she told me that day has stayed with me,” he said. “I’ve been protected. I’ve been directed.… I didn’t always stick with [God], but he always stuck with me.”
Chris Pratt was a struggling waiter living in Hawaii when he encountered a man named Henry outside a store. Henry said God had instructed him to speak to Pratt. “He should have made me nervous, but he didn’t,” Pratt said. Pratt bailed on his plans and went with Henry to church. “I surprised my friends by declaring that I was going to change my life.” Pratt never saw Henry again, but faith became a cornerstone of his life.
In a 1982 Guideposts story, actor Beau Bridges share the story of his first personal experience with God. He was 12 years old, shooting arrows into the sky with some buddies. Everyone else’s arrows fell straight back to the ground, but Bridges’ went missing. He looked everywhere, but couldn’t find it. Hours later, he felt drawn to a tree miles from where he had been looking. His arrow was stuck to the tree. The incident ignited his interest in God.
Matthew McConaughey drifted from God as his acting career took off, but reconnected with his faith when he married his wife, Camila. When they were pregnant with their first child, they talked about several options revolving around a Bible verse. “My favorite [verse in] the Bible is Matthew 6:22: ‘If thy eye be single, thy whole body will be full of light,’” McConaughey said. They talked about Levi—Matthew’s name before he began to follow Jesus—as a possible alternative. The choice of a name became clear when their son was born at 6:22. They named him Levi.
Gwen Stefani’s faith was strengthened by a miraculous answer to her son’s prayer. She told Late Night host Seth Meyer that her son, Kingston, has a “direct link” with God. “He prays for everything!” the singer said. Case in point: he asked Stefani if she was going to have another baby. Stefani was content with her two boys and told Kingston there wouldn’t be another baby. One month later, she found out she was pregnant. When she told her son, Kingston wasn’t surprised. “I prayed for that,” he said.
Explore the collection of slideshows and discover inspirational quotes, beautiful photos, and powerful stories of hope.