First Mediaworks

April 24, 2014- 4:16pm
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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 see the empty
chair; 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 about 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'll 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 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."

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