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 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.
The old man continued, “I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter, but all 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 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 Jesus 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 liked it so much that I talk to Jesus this way a couple of hours every day. I’m careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she’s either going to have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm.”
The minister was deeply moved by the old man’s story and encouraged him to continue on the journey. Then the minister 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 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 empty chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?”
The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, “This is good. Oh, I wish we could all go like that.”
LIFE LESSON: Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest…learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt 11:28,29) Rest in the Lord!
Have you talked to Jesus today?
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