Film Review: Pamela's Prayer
This week’s film review is for the film “Pamela's Prayer,” which is produced and directed by Dave Christiano.
Yes, it seemed unfair...until the day she married.
Pamela's Prayer is the story of a prayerful father, a listening daughter, and the sovereignty of God. It is faith realized...and purity lifted high.
This motion picture portrays the unique story of Pamela Bucklin from her birth in 1969 to her wedding day in 1991.
Her mother died the day she was born. Her father taught her a certain perspective about purity and marriage. All of her friends were dating. Pamela was not. It was hard. It seemed so unfair that her father insisted on such a high standard of purity. She didn't understand...until the day she got married.
The plot glorifies God, by taking marriage, the highest human relationship we have, and showing how the preparation should be, to honour God.
We are shown how the Bible is the foundation of a grieving husband, who wants to keep his daughter pure so that she can honour God and have the best start to her marriage. We see a girl raised by her father and grandparents - all devoted Christians, and see how this provides a solid foundation for her life - a household of faith.
Both father and daughter are faced with many challenges and the film conveys where his strength lies. We see the father, called Wayne, rely on the Lord time and time again, through the pain of losing his wife. We see him pray through his loneliness, read scripture, focus on his ministry, care for his parents and most of all, care for Pamela, through his faith in the Lord.
It was wonderful to see how Wayne read the Bible to Pamela. The verse they read was from Mark 12:30: And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
The film shows how it is a lonely world for those who want to follow the Word of God. We see how Pamela was made fun of at school, her frustrations of not being “normal” like her peers, who called themselves Christians but had no problem acting upon lustful thoughts.
God gave Pamela the best model of a husband, while she waited. Her father had cherished her mother, in their short marriage, and was teaching Pamela how she should be cherished by her husband. The character Wayne portrayed a model head of a home.
He relied on the Lord for everything, especially his role as a father to Pamela
He was orderly, well groomed and soft spoken
He was humble, showing that he struggled with knowing what to do, at times, but took his cares to his heavenly Father, through His word and prayer.
There is a powerful scene when he prayers when Pamela is late coming home. He could have driven around looking for her, called people, or done many other things, but he chose to pray, intently.
There is a heartbreaking scene where Pamela refuses to pray with her father, in the midst of her rebellion. Her father’s pray for help to be the father God wanted him to be was such a heartfelt, humble pray. At the height of his daughter rejecting him, Wayne turns to the source he knows he can truly rely on - God.
There’s another powerful scene when Pamela seeks counsel with her father for counsel after deceiving him
Wayne was quick to forgive
He took the opportunity to stress the importance of waiting to kiss until she was married.
They prayed together for the people involved in the difficult situation
Wayne didn’t confront the young man, who had tried to tempt Pamela, and spread lies about her. He encouraged Pamela to hold her peace and let God fight for her - just like Jesus did. To be patient and let the Lord have control.
Pamela’s Prayer lifts up the Christian standard of recognition of the value of life and blessing in children.
We see the joy Wayne and his wife felt when she announced she was expecting a baby
We see Wayne’s parent’s joy in helping him with Pamela.
We witness Wanye’s commitment, to the Lord and his daughter Pamela, to prayer with Pamela every night
We see countless examples of a father’s love based on the Word of God, not only for his daughter, but for the people who she loves. He reaches out through prayer for those people, never saying, “I told you so,” to Pamela when the situation becomes desperate.
Then finally, we see Wayne take on the role of a sincere chaperone for Pamela when a young man who loves the Lord comes along, gains Wayne’s trust and clearly shows his intentions for Pamela, based on the law of God.
I really admire how Wayne told Pamela and her husband to-be that he loved them both. He could say that because he had taken the time to get to know her husband to-be. There was no selfishness because he was Pamela’s father. He loved Pamela so much that he wanted a man in her life, that would be the best husband she could have. He told her husband to be that he, “Loved him like a son, trusted him and knew he would take care of her.”
This film was made in 1998, and yet few films today can compare with it. The character Wayne is the kind of father any God fearing girl would want and the kind of father in-law any God fearing young man would appreciate.
I could relate to Wayne as a parent, as the young couple made their vows. The young husband to-be was promising to love, honour, provide for his wife to be and lead her always in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pamela was promising to care for him, respect and submit to his leadership in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
At the very end the film portrays that crucial moment when Wayne transfers his care of his daughter to his son in-law, asking Pamela to check with her husband if something was ok. This spoke volumes. Showing a full circle of protection of Pamela, the release of that protection into the arms of her husband. For me, the only reason this transition was smooth, was because Wayne was portrayed as a man who loved the Lord, as did Pamela and her husband. So everything fell into place, even though there were some hiccups along the way.
Does the film give glory and honour and thanks to God?
I don’t have the words for how this film did this. Actually I do, but it would be a five hour podcast. In short, the film achieves this by clearly showing that the Word of God and Wayne’s relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, was the success in his role as a father and father in-law.
Did the film encourage my faith?
Absolutely, and I know I will reflect on it for some time to come. It is such a beautiful film! I encourage you to watch it at your earliest convenience.
Would I change anything about the film?
Yes, there were some verses from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 read at a funeral, stating the true state of the dead. It says:
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen [a]asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who [b]sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
But then later on, Waynes speaks about the person who died, saying they, “went to be with the Lord.” - which is a contradiction to the Bible verses read at the funeral. So that sentiment should have been left out.
There was also a scene with Wayne’s family decorating a Christmas tree. As Christmas is not biblical, I would have preferred this not be in the film.
Pamela’s Prayer could easily leave you speechless as it models the journey of fatherhood, and purity, in preparation for marriage from a young woman and young man’s perspective. It’s a film that makes you wonder at the goodness the Lord intended us to have, and be sadly reminded of how sin can easily take away that precious gift. However by the end of the film, nothing can spoil the witness of the power and beauty of marriage and how it was intended to be. The exchange of looks between Wayne and his daughter spoke volumes about the gratitude she had that he had held his ground, based on his faith, as well as Wayne’s gratitude that the Lord had given him the strength and the wisdom he needed to protect his daughter’s purity for her marriage. This is reflected in Pamela’s last prayer with her father.
I saw Pamela’s Prayer via www.christiancinema.com.
Thank you for reading this review. Until next time - peace be with you.
NB! The links I reference for my films is the source I used, but it is not an endorsement of the entire film streaming company. I am sure this particular film can be found on various digital streaming companies.
Source for film thumbnail www.christiancinema.com