From the devotional book, "Dear Abba"
Brennan Manning tells a story of an older man who longed for a deeper prayer life. After unsuccessfully trying to comprehend scholarly books on the subject, he finally tried praying in a very child-like manner, by picturing Jesus seated in the chair beside his bed and talking to him. He found that he liked it so well, that he did "a couple hours a day."
When the old man fell ill, he confessed to the local minister this daily habit of his conversations with Jesus.
"I'm careful though," he told the minister. "If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair she'd ..send me off to the funny farm." The minister, profoundly moved by his story, promised no to reveal his secret.
Two Days later the old man's daughter called the minister to tell him of her father's passing.
"Did he seem to die in peace?" the minister asked. The daughter assured him that her father had indeed gone quite peacefully. "But there was something strange, she said reflectively. "In fact beyond strange, kinda weird. Apparently just before father died, he leaned over and rested his head on the empty chair next to his bed."
This old man knew his heavenly Father. He had learned to share the kind of intimate friendship with his heavenly Father that is available to each of s today.