Easter - 2018

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Praying WITH an empty chair!

In a Question and Answer period, after a message delivered at Stanford University by Brother Brennan Manning on November 4, 1999, Brother Manning used the phrase, “I laid my head in an empty chair.” He then explained his use of the phrase.

Several years ago a woman approached him and asked him to visit her dying father and pray with him. He entered the man’s bedroom and found the man propped up on two pillows. The man was dying of cancer. Upon entering the room, Brother Manning noticed an empty chair next to the man’s bed. Assuming that it was placed there in anticipation of his visit, Brother Manning said, I see you are expecting me. The man answered him and said, “No, I wasn’t, who are you?”

Brother Manning identified himself and told him that he was there on the request of the man’s daughter. He also explained that upon seeing the empty chair next to his bed he assumed that it was for him. The man asked Brother Manning to please close the door and then he explained what the chair. The man explained that for years he had struggled with the concept of prayer. He never understood sermons concerning prayer and received no help when he turned to pastors for help. Therefore, out of frustration he abandoned prayer for many years.

Then just three years ago a friend explained that prayer was just talking to God. His friend suggested that he sit down in a chair and place an empty chair in front of him. His friend told him to imagine, by faith, Jesus sitting in the other chair and to just start talking to Him. The dying man confessed that he had been doing this two hours a day ever since. He admitted that he had to be careful that his daughter did not catch him talking to an empty chair.

Later that week the woman returned and told Brother Manning that her father had died. Brother Manning asked her if it appeared that he died peacefully. She related to him that he had told her one of his corny jokes and kissed her cheek and sent her off to the store on an errand. When she returned she discovered him dead. Then she admitted something strange, she found her father with his head resting in the empty chair beside his bed.

Praying for you today - Don

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