Movie Review

Pamela's Prayer

Reviewed by: Paul S. Taylor
STAFF WRITER

Excellent!
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Pre-teen to Adult
Genre:
Drama
Length:
60 min.
Not rated

Dating and purity are topics of intense interest to teens, young adults, and parents. This video uses a touching dramatic story to get audiences thinking about why God’s way is the best. “Pamela’s Prayer” is a story of faith lived, and purity lifted high.

“Pamela’s Prayer” was produced as a very personal project of Christian filmmaker Dave Christiano. It is the story of a widowed Christian father and his Christian daughter Pamela. Under Godly conviction, the father lovingly raises his daughter following Biblical principles—preparing her for marriage and a Godly life.

Each and every night he intercedes in prayer for her. We watch as Pamela grows from infancy into a 16-year-old and then a beautiful, marriageable woman. During the teen years, her girlfriend has gone out with anyone she wants. But Pamela and her father are following a non-dating path. As a teenager, Pamela sometimes rebels at her father’s guidance—using the usual teen arguments—even sneaking out once. This heart-warming story shows the truth of the pain that can be avoided by following a straighter path than the world. In the end, she is overjoyed with the fruit of purity and develops even higher love and respect for her father and his kind, prayerful guidance.

This timely movie does not attempt to discuss all of the issues related to purity, dating or courting. Nor does it specifically mention the courtship-like approach that is increasingly popular among Christians today. What it does accomplish is a skillful weaving of Biblical principles, righteous living, and love of family that produces a story that touches the heart and soul. This movie’s approach is soft and respectful, rather than fast-paced and flashy. Never pushy or judgmental, the message is presented with kindness and love.

Discussions should flow easily after viewing this video. Youth leaders should be prepared by reading a good book on this subject such as the one written by Christian teen and popular-speaker Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye.

Many will find this movie to be a useful new tool for promoting Godly living among Christian young people. There is certainly a great need for it. I especially recommend “Pamela’s Prayer” for viewing by pre-teens and young teens not yet involved in dating.

Year of Release—1998

Viewer Comments
Positive—“Pamela’s Prayer” is really great. The message is wonderful. I want my children to view it many times and hide these truths in their hearts. I recommend it for your family library. Low budget does not mean low quality. I use it with Jr. and Sr. High Girls at church, too.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 4½
—Frances, age 38
My wife and I got the video to use for a youth group retreat and wanted to preview it first. I must say I found the film intriguing. The production values are not very high…, but the film does work—and is therefore worth watching and sharing with the youth.

I know the inconsistant quality of acting (Rachel’s friend does a very good job other than that I found the acting forced) and the awkwardness of much of the dialogue will be a hurdle for most youth. I do think they will see beyond it, but am very interested in getting their reaction. Our youth are used to watching a higher level of filmmaking and too often the “Christian Film” does not come close to their expectations. I do wish the filmmaker had taken the time to take it to the next level—but am glad the film was made.
My Ratings: Very Good / 2
—Jeff Sparks, age 48
I think the thought of abstaining from kissing is unrealistic to us because we have drifted so very far from Biblical standards in this country. In Biblical days, the bride and bridegroom wouldn’t even spend time together (let alone touch each other) until he came by surprise (usually in the night) to take her away. Our society pummels us with so many images of physical intimacy before marriage that we in the church have grown to accept it as normal and acceptable.

Personally, I do not want to kiss my wife-to-be until I marry her. I don’t want any of the innocence or wonderment of our relationship to be spoiled by impatience.

If we train our children early to not walk after the patterns of this warped world, and to take a stand for purity and innocence in the face of persecution, I believe that we can clean up the sin which is rampant among teen believers. Kissing does lead to other things. We think it is harmless, but it stirs passions that are almost impossible to control—passions which were not meant to be stirred until marriage. We have drifted so very very far…
—Robert Calvert, New York
As a father of a little girl, “Pamela’s Prayer” really touched my heart. I felt myself get mildly choked up during many scenes. The example of this widower father challenged me to begin praying nightly for my own daughter. Though I certainly did not grow up in my teen years with the knowledge that there was any alternative to dating (everyone was doing it), this story makes me realize there IS an alternative, and I was challenged to contemplate some thought-provoking topics.
—T.C., age 24
…about a year ago I had made a commitment to God that I would not kiss again until I got married. At age 17, people think that is insane. I knew it wasn't. But about the time I needed the most encouragement with my commitment, I went and saw “Pamela’s Prayer” with our church youth group. I can’t express my graditude for ya'll’s faithfulness but I have thanked God many times for giving me something I can take to college with me as an encouragement.
—a viewer in Arkansas
…Its powerful lesson was presented in a touching and poignant manner that tugged at the strings of our hearts, particularily as parents. There were few dry eyes left near the end of the movie.
—a viewer in Arkansas
It does have a great message with some real moving moments. I think it could have a positive impact on a lot of people. May God bless your efforts to get this video and this message out to dads and families.
—Managing Editor, “Today’s Father”