Text Illustrations
Subject: The Empty Chair

>

> A man’s daughter had asked the local minister to come

> and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he

> found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on

> two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed.The minister

> assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit.

>

> I guess you were expecting me, he said. ’No, who are you?"

> said the father. The minister told him his name and then

> remarked, I saw the empty chair an! d I figured you knew I> was going to show up," Oh yeah, the chair,"said the bed

> ridden man.

>

> Would you mind closing the door?" Puzzled, the minister

> shut the door. I have never told anyone this, not even my

> daughter," said the man. But all of my life I have never

> known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor

> talk about prayer, But it went right over my head." I

> abandoned any attempt at prayer, "the old man continued,

> until one day four years ago, A friend of mine said to me,

> Johnny, prayer is just a simple matterof having a conversation

> with Jesus. Here is what I suggest." Sit down in a chair;

> place an empty chair in front of you,and in faith see Jesus

> on the chair. It’s not spooky because he promised, I will be

> with you always’.

>

> Then just speak to him in the same way you’re doing with me

> right now." So, I tried ! it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it

> a couple of hours every day. I’m careful though. If my daughter

> saw me talking to an empty chair, she’d either have a nervous

> breakdown or send me off to the funny farm."

>

> The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged

> the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with

> him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church.

>

> Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her

> daddy had died that afternoon. "Did he die in peace?" he asked.

> Yes, when I left the house about two o’clock, he called me over

> to his bedside, told me how much he loved me and kissed me

> on the cheek.

>

> When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead.

> But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just

> before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on ! the chair

> beside the bed.What do you make of that? The minister wiped a tear

> from his eye and said, "I wish we could all go like that."