Director: Kevan Otto
Writer: Trisha Mammen
With his sister suffering from terminal cancer, a young boy takes it upon himself to get God’s attention by answering the prayers of members of his church in hopes that God will heal his sister.
The Prayer Box is a beautifully tragic story about what happens when God doesn’t intervene the way people want him to. Following the story of a young boy who sets off on a mission to get God’s attention in hopes that God will heal his sister from terminal cancer, the young boy begins answering the prayers left by church members in the pastor’s prayer box after the pastor throws them away, jaded by his own suffering. It tackles the heavy issues of unanswered prayer and if God even hears/answers prayer with a message that is heartbreaking in its raw portrayal of human pain and suffering in this world. Not a conventional inspirational faith film, this film is undeniably powerful in the fact that it challenges preconceived notions of whitewashed happy-go-lucky faith. This film does not hide the fact that life is full of pain, suffering, loss, and betrayal, yet it somehow manages to take these themes and find God in the midst of it all. There is a childlike innocence and naivety to the young boy who finds a confidant in an elderly man who takes him under wing, providing both mentorship and comic relief amid the pain the young boy faces with his dying sister and his mother who has distanced herself from the rest of the world. The most interesting character, however, is that of the Pastor who shocks the audience with his dumping of the prayer requests into the trashcan. Initially painted as a hypocritical and unfeeling spiritual leader to a group of blind followers, his character evolves into one of particular interest as it is revealed how he became so jaded at his calling, and how the young boy’s faith brings a personal revival to the Pastor’s life and his congregation as a whole. This is a phenomenally complex, challenging, and thought-provoking film, powerfully presented with an expertly delicate hand.