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."