If faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, then what can the faith of a little girl do?
After hearing Jesus’ words in church, Sara Hopkins starts believing that God can and will do anything—all she has to do is believe and ask Him to do it.
At first, nobody believes Sara. Even when her brother, Danny, and his girlfriend, Cindy, witness a bird’s resurrection after Sara prayed for it, they remain skeptical. Perhaps the bird was just stunned or sick. Maybe it was the wind that woke it up.
But Sara remains adamant: God brought the bird back from the dead. And she knows it because she saw Him.
And pretty soon, Sara isn’t just praying for dead birds. A dog is miraculously healed after getting hit by a car. And her best friend, Mark (a paraplegic), is able to walk again after asking Sara to pray with him.
Now, everyone wants Sara to heal them. The only problem is that Sara is still a little girl, and healing every sick person on the planet is a very tall order. Not to mention the fact that every time Sara prays for someone, she falls sick shortly after. And the more people God heals through her, the sicker she gets …
Even though she knows that healing people is mysteriously draining her life away somehow, Sara insists on helping others. And many of the people whom she prays for come back to help her when she winds up in the hospital.
Despite being skeptical of the miracles occurring in Sara’s life, her doctor never gives up on her. He focuses on her health and makes sure that she receives the care she needs—even asking a reporter not to do a story on her since it could have a negative impact on Sara’s life.
Bonnie (Sara’s mom) yells at Sam (Sara’s grandfather) for breaking hospital rules, claiming that anything that happens to Sara as a result of his seeming recklessness will be his fault. However, she later apologizes, because she realizes that Sam only did what he did because he loves Sara so much.
Danny has a rivalry with a boy named Alvie, which mostly consists of Alvie bullying Danny. However, after Sara saves the life of Alvie’s dog, he stops being mean to Danny, even helping to fulfill Sara’s last wish.
A man stops two boys from stealing. Afterwards, the woman they were stealing from says they’re probably good boys deep down, they just need some guidance. A woman and her daughter reflect on all the things they are grateful for at the end of every day. A man offers to give his own life for his granddaughter’s.
Through the power of faith, Sara is able to heal several animals and children. Two boys walk again, a blind girl can see, and another girl is cured of cancer. However, Sara always reminds people that she isn’t the one doing the healing—God is.
It’s difficult for people, especially Sara’s family, to understand what is happening. Most are skeptical, even if they saw the miracles occur. However, Sara never loses faith in God, even when her parents refuse to believe, and when her doctor tries to explain away what’s happening with scientific rationales.
That being said, many people do believe. Parents bring their sick children to Sara hoping that God will give them a miracle. Her friends and family break the law to help fulfill her final wish because they have faith God will heal her if they do. And her small community’s church becomes standing-room-only after witnessing the miracles in Sara’s life.
Sara sees a vision of, apparently, God floating above the water at the lake near her grandfather’s house. But when Cindy and Danny arrive, they can’t see anything. However, when Sara later returns to the lake with several people, they all see Jesus (portrayed as a young man in jeans and a T-shirt) arrive in a bright light. Several other spirits, apparently people who’ve died and gone to heaven, join Him as well. Through a healed girl’s eyes, we also see the spiritual apparition of Jesus standing with Sara, touching the people she is praying for.
After Sara’s first encounter with God at the lake, she begins to draw pictures with extraordinary talent and detail, and these images turn out to be visions of the future.
Two sick children talk with adults about their fear of dying and whether or not they will go to heaven when they die.
Sam explains to Sara that even though God doesn’t always give us what we ask for, He’s always listening, and He always has a reason for what He does or doesn’t do. Another man goes further; he wonders why, if God exists, He would create a world where children die.
When people are healed, we hear exclamations of praise to the Lord. People attend church. We see a priest wearing a rosary. Two people wear cross necklaces. Sara swears on the Bible that she isn’t lying. A pastor prays for forgiveness when he and Sam purposely hinder a police chase. Despite heavy rainfall, multiple people come out of a storm perfectly dry after witnessing a miracle.
Sara asks Danny what it’s like to be in love. She also tells Cindy that she thinks Cindy and Danny should kiss.
Danny pushes Alvie out of the way of a speeding vehicle, but it hits Alvie’s dog, killing the creature (we see blood).
Alvie purposely shoves and trips Danny during a soccer game. Sam trips two boys when they try to steal food. Then, when they try to fight him, he beats them up, pushes one to the ground and chokes the other.
Danny kicks a soccer ball at three boys mocking Sara, causing them to crash their bikes.
There is one use of “h—,” and we hear six misuses of God’s name. We also hear the words “suck” and “jerk.”
Several teens drink alcohol from bottles covered in paper bags and drive while inebriated. They also smoke cigarettes. Sam says he drank too much when he was younger.
After a reporter hears about Sara’s miracles, she and other journalists turn the girl’s life into a media circus, surrounding her home with cameras, following her to the hospital and pestering her family with questions.
Bonnie becomes fearful for Sara’s life after Sara tells her that God has told her He’d be taking Sara to heaven soon. This fear is amplified when Sara starts collapsing after the healing miracles.
Sara’s friends and family break several laws in an attempt to sneak her away from the hospital while she is sick. A boy cheats during a game of soccer and purposely fouls other players. Two boys attempt to steal food from a concession stand. A girl borrows her brother’s phone without permission. Sara disobeys her parents twice when they ask her to leave the room. Someone makes a joke about turning the other cheek after causing an injury to a guy’s backside.
Sara’s incredible faith literally saves the lives of several people. But many people are also inspired by her devotion to God. And after witnessing what He is capable of doing through the life of a young, belief-filled girl like Sara, they come to believe themselves—saving them in a much different way.
The film is sad at times and could be hard for families who have prayed for miraculous healing and not received it. However, The Girl Who Believes in Miracles is always careful to state that God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes there’s a reason for why He says “no” to our prayers. And death, unfortunately, is a part of life.
But this quiet Christian film also instills hope. Because even though someone we love might die, as long as they believe in Christ, they will be safe in God’s arms at the end of it all.
We see underage drinking and smoking, someone says the h-word and a dog dies after getting hit by a car. But otherwise, The Girl Who Believes in Miracles is a clean film.
Ultimately, though, The Girl Who Believes in Miracles reminds audiences young and old that no matter how small their faith may be, God can still use it and them to move mountains.
Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.