Many people are surprised when I tell them that I am an unenthusiastic fan of Christian entertainment. However, in terms of quality for a “Christian” film, there is one definite exception. “Reconciliation” (starring Eric Nenninger and Jack Maxwell) is one of my absolute favorites. Wow! I cried and cried the first time I saw it. Stunned and overwhelmed, I was amazed that the movie worked on so many levels. Since its release in 2009, I have viewed it at least a dozen times. I watched again this past weekend.
Buy this movie. Rent it. Watch it and share it with others. I can’t imagine anyone not being able to connect with one of the characters. Even if your circumstances don’t have anything to do with homosexuality, “Reconciliation“ will speak to you. As you will see, Jeff and Grant are far from the only ones needing (and struggling) with reconciliation and forgiveness. This film isn’t just about them; it’s about all of us.
However, in the midst of the holiday season, this movie (plus relationship-oriented activities and memories) may be difficult for many. Strained family relationships are magnified and the “holiday happiness” floating around can be sickening. I’ve sat through Thanksgiving dinners just being numb and feeling empty. I’ve spent the midnight hour of several Christmas Eves crying my eyes out because of the pain and loneliness. The outgoing year was seemingly filled with failure and dejection; the new year didn’t seem to hold any hopeful promises. At times the pain and emptiness still come and go.
For those who may be having a hard time during the holidays, I have written out the following prayers. Remember that God loves you no matter what. He waits for you. You are valued. Your life has purpose. Christ can and will walk with you, carry you and defend you when no one else can (or will).
To some people, the expressions and tone used in these examples are too “flowery” or “restrained”. When my emotions were especially intense, I have used unrefined language in my private prayers. Not profane or obscene (remember Whom we are speaking with), but very honest. I believe it is perfectly understandable and okay if the words flowing from the depths of our souls are rough and clumsy. When Christians are so troubled as to find great difficulty in praying, the Holy Spirit is interceding for them with divine intensity that expresses their needs perfectly to God (Romans 8:26, 27).
Our Heavenly Father and Lord, there are children and adults who have been hurt, injured and abused in word or deed. Hatred and anger may linger in their hearts. Resentment and fear may control their lives. The ability to trust may have been destroyed. Protect and comfort those who have been hurt. Restore to life those who have been damaged. Make whole those who have been diminished.
We need deliverance and forgiveness. We need love, trust and security. We need each other. We need You. Help us to reach out to You for the comfort and peace that only You can give. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
I have been rejected and despised; I am hurting and destroyed by the pain. I am angry with others and with You God, for there is no comfort, none anywhere. I call Your name and You are absent. I wonder why You let me suffer.
I know You’re with me because You’ve promised You will never leave me nor forsake me, that You’ll be with me always – but sometimes when I can’t sense Your presence, I feel terribly alone and afraid and sad. When my spirit falls and I can’t cry anymore, help me to find hope in You.
Help me to live in Your presence – praising You, knowing You inhabit the praise of Your people. Set my heart to seek You, to be strong and take heart as I wait for You.
Hide me in the shelter of Your presence and show me Your wonderful love. Help me hope in You, and let Your unfailing love rest upon me. Help me fix my eyes on You, to take shelter in You, to set my life and soul before You.
Help me believe that You won’t leave me, that You’ll come to me no matter how alone I feel. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Loving God, there are times in each life when there is no one. No one with whom to share a word, a laugh, a sad remembrance, a gentle touch, a fond embrace, a kiss of love. Bless each one who suffers from such loneliness. Enrich life with a friend or gentle stranger who will spend a moment noticing and loving. In those times Your love shines through. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Most loving and forgiving Father, hear our prayers for all who are battling inner demons of depression, unworthiness, and hopelessness. The despair is too great, the loneliness is unbearable, the inability to share thoughts and feelings – overwhelming.
Bless them with the strength of love to meet each day with new courage; friendships to bring moments of joy in their days of anguish; and hope for the future. Shine Your warm Heavenly Light down upon all of us. Guide us to find peace, happiness, and contentment in our lives and within You.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.
© Darrell Martin and SameSexAttractions.wordpress.com, 2013.
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