A mans daughter had asked her pastor to
come and pray with her terminally ill father.
When the pastor arrived, he found the man lying
in bed with his head propped up on two pillows
and an empty chair beside his bed. The pastor
assumed that the old fellow had been informed of
"I guess you were expecting me," he
"No, who are you?"
"Im the new pastor at your
church," the pastor 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
Puzzled, the pastor shut the door,
"Ive never told anyone this, not even
my daughter," said the man. "But all of
my life I have never known how to pray. At the
Sunday service I used to hear the pastor talk
about prayer, but it always went right over my
"I abandoned any attempt at prayer,"
the old man continued, "until one day about
four years ago my best friend said to me,
Joe, prayer is just a simple matter of
having a conversation with Jesus. Heres
what I suggest. Sit down on a chair, place an
empty chair in front of you, and in faith see
Jesus sitting in the chair. Its not spooky
because He promised, Ill be with you
always. Then just speak to Him and listen
in the same way youre doing with me right
"So, pastor, I tried it and Ive liked
it so much that Ive done it a couple of
hours every day since then. Im careful,
though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty
chair, shed either have a nervous breakdown
or send me off to the funny farm."
The pastor was deeply moved by the story and
encouraged the old guy to continue on the
journey. Then he prayed with him, anointed him
with oil, and returned to his office.
Two nights later the daughter called to tell the
pastor that her daddy had died that afternoon.
"Did he seem to die in peace?" he
"Yes, when I left the house around two
oclock, he called me over to his bedside,
told me one of his corny jokes, 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, pastor. In fact, beyond
"What was that?" the pastor asked.
Well," the girl said, "apparently just
before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his
head on the chair he always kept beside his bed,
and thats the way I found himhis head
resting on the chair and looking as if he was
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