An Empty Chair

A man’s daughter had asked the local minister to come by to visit her ailing 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 and I figured you knew I was going to show up.”
“Oh yeah, the chair,”said the bedridden 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, my best friend said to me, “Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of 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.”
The old fellow continued:  “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 because 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 with this journey in his relationship with Jesus.  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.  The daughter replied:  “Yes, when I left the house about two
o’clock , he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and  kissed me on the cheek.
When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him.  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 pray we could all go like that.”

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.

Submitted by Jeanne

Mark 14:3

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