The Chair:

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Posted by TerryS ( on April 04, 2001 at 15:30:00:

The 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. "I'm the new minister
at your church," he replied. "When I saw the
empty chair, I figured you knew 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."

"So we are always confident, even though we know
that as long as we live in these bodies we are
not at home with the Lord. That is why we live by
believing and not by seeing. We live by faith,
not by sight."

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