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Apr 24, 2024 7:55:00 AM

Melissa Joan Hart Explains How Prayer Played a Pivotal Role in Her Professional & Personal Life

Melissa Joan Hart will never forget the day she was set to film the pivotal scene in “God’s Not Dead 2” where her character, Grace Wesley, had to break down in court and publicly proclaim her faith in Jesus. There was a lot riding on the scene, and Hart wanted to ensure her performance got the message across in an impactful way.

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Granted, it was easier because Hart is a longtime Christian. It was also easier because she was lifted up in prayer before filming began, something she had never experienced on a movie set before.

“I ran into a gentleman in the lobby the morning we were going to film it on my way to work and I just asked him to pray over me, that I would be able to deliver a good performance and have God speak through me and hopefully touch someone’s heart,” Hart recalled in a 2022 interview. “My hope was I could deliver a really thorough and accurate performance because the movie sort-of hinged on that one [pivotal] scene. So, I felt a lot of pressure and was scared and excited. Having everyone pray over me was just a really special experience.”


Despite the fact that prayer wasn’t typically a part of Hart’s professional life on the screen, it has long been an essential part of her personal life and a foundational part of her faith. In fact, she says it’s how she gets through her day.

“As I talk to myself as I go through my day, I’m always going to God,” she said. “I’m always talking to God about what the best course of action would be in a particular situation. I’m constantly asking the Holy Spirit to calm me down and quiet me … I’m constantly just finding little moments throughout the day to spend with God. Of course, I fall to my knees when I come to a real crossroads when I have a major conflict in my life, or something that is really on my heart.”

It’s also something she’s worked to instill in her own family. Hart shares three sons with her husband of 20 years, Mark Wilkerson, and they are both committed to training up their boys in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6).

“Each night we take a different turn around the table praying,” she shared in a 2020 interview. “We pray constantly. We pray over every meal. We pray every bedtime. We pray on every journey. We pray whenever someone in the family needs that; we pray for people that we know in the world that need it … We’re church-going Sunday people and we’re Bible study people and we really try to live a life based on what Jesus taught us.”

Read Also: Our Favorite Inspirational Moments from "God's Not Dead 2"

And while most of Hart’s professional work has been outside of the faith genre, working on “God’s Not Dead 2” opened her eyes to the joy of making faith films—especially as more and more fans flock to see them in theaters.

“I have so many great memories of being on that set and being a part of that film,” she said. “And then afterwards, to have it be recognized the way it was is amazing. I won a Grace Award for best acting. And then to have it open at number three at the box office that weekend was completely unexpected. It was a really special project to be part of.”

“I think Hollywood is paying attention to faith-based films now because they do so well,” she continued. “They have an audience that people didn’t expect and people really rally behind them to make sure there is more of these good feeling, heartwarming stories. Hopefully, they will continue and they can move into the mainstream and be part of pop culture too.”

Watch Melissa Joan Hart in “God’s Not Dead 2” right now on Great American Pure Flix. In fact, this is the only place where you can stream all four “God’s Not Dead” movies in the same location!

Let us know your favorite of the four in the comment section below!


Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in Christian Post, The Daily Signal, and Intellectual Takeout. Mayer has a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Arizona State University.