‘Breakthrough’ Producer DeVon Franklin Discusses the Power of Prayer


In this recent clip from the Busted Halo Show, Father Dave welcomes DeVon Franklin, a producer of “Breakthrough,” a powerful new film starring “This is Us” actress Chrissy Metz and executive produced by NBA star Stephen Curry.

“Breakthrough” recounts the events surrounding the rescue and recovery of Missouri teen John Smith who was submerged under ice for 15 minutes until he was finally rescued, declared dead, and then miraculously brought back to life. Despite the failed revival efforts of a trained medical crew, what restored John to life was ultimately not medical intervention, but the healing power of prayer and the surrender of a faith-filled mother to God’s will. When DeVon Franklin came across the incredible true story at the heart of the film, he says he knew he had to share it with the world. “I didn’t choose the story,” he says., “It chose me.”

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Father Dave points out that while some might think the story is embellished, the movie stays true to the real experiences of the Smith family during their son’s coma. Even the incredible conversion of the emergency responder who pulled John’s lifeless body out of the water is true to the original events. “I think the goal was always just to do right by the real story. And the story deserves the very best,” Franklin explains.

Father Dave notes that while many people struggle with “praying well” or even learning how to pray at all, the movie advocates for the unbelievable efficacy and simplicity of prayer. DeVon Franklin thinks that “Breakthrough” highlights an important truth: Ultimately, God heard Joyce Smith’s prayers not because they were beautiful or well-structured, but because they were expressions of ultimate faith and surrender. “We don’t have to be eloquent,” Franklin says. “We don’t have to have all the right verbs and pronouns, we just have to speak through the heart and let God do the rest.”

“What Joyce Smith did is she went into the emergency room and she said, ‘I hear what the doctors are saying, but I want to hear what Heaven has to say,’” Franklin continues. “And so, she went and checked with Heaven, and Heaven said John Smith is not dead. And as a result, John is alive today. So, I think it’s important to keep believing and keep praying even in the face of unbelievable and insurmountable odds.”

“Breakthrough” opens in theaters Wednesday, April 17, 2019.