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Denzel Washington: Prayer and the Holy Spirit Have Protected Me

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Acclaimed actor, director and producer Denzel Washington recently appeared on Instagram Live for a conversation with his friend, A.R. Bernard, the lead pastor of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York. During the discussion, Washington shared examples of the grace God has shown him over the years, especially through his family and the Holy Spirit.

“It was a supernatural, if not once in a lifetime experience…that I couldn’t completely understand at the time,” said Washington, describing a moment in the early 80s when he was filled with the Holy Ghost. The actor, who is known for movies such as Malcolm X, Glory, and Training Day, had decided to visit the West Angeles Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Los Angeles. When the church gave an altar call, he thought, “This time, I’m just going to go down there and give it up and see what happens.”  


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Denzel Washington Is Filled with the Spirit

Denzel Washington then had a dramatic experience being filled with the Holy Spirit, an event that left a mark on him—although he was not prepared to follow God wholeheartedly at the time. “I was filled with the Holy Ghost and it scared me,” he said. “I said, ‘Wait a minute. I didn’t want to go this deep.’ I wanted to party.”

Bernard commented that it seems God gives us encounters like this to help us stay grounded, and he asked Washington if that experience did in fact help him stay grounded throughout his career. “It kept me grounded in spite of myself,” Washington replied. “I accepted it, I definitely experienced it, but I wasn’t ready to live it…You have that moment, that ‘knock from the horse’ moment, if you will, but that doesn’t mean the rest of your life is going to go the way it should.”