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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 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 
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, and when I left the house about 
two o' clock, he called me over to 
his bedside and 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." 
Prayer is one of the best free gifts we 
receive. There is no cost but a 
lot of rewards. 
Just remember, the chair is never 
really "empty". No matter where we 
are, what we do, how we act, what we say, 
who we are with - He is always with us.

 


"Neither doctrinal purity nor diligent labor will ever be a substitute for passionate devotion to God."

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