The Prayer of Cyrus Brown

I can be found most mornings sitting at ‘my spot’ on the couch with a crochet project in my lap, a hot cup of coffee nearby, and Otis sleeping next to me.  I have my ear phones in and I am listening to a sermon from Alistair Begg.

Alistair Begg is a Scottish Evangelical pastor, who immigrated to the United States in the early ’80’s and started Parkside Church in Cleveland Ohio.

I have listened to Pastor Begg for many, many years, after finding his Truth For Life radio program, which I listened to on my way to work in the mornings. He is a no-nonsense, common sense teacher of the Bible.

Pastor Begg quotes song and hymn lyrics as well as poems and articles during his sermons. This poem popped up twice in recent weeks and I have felt the need to share it … As you read it, imagine it being recited by someone with a lilting Scottish accent. Or better yet, listen to Pastor Begg read the poem in the sermon, ‘Salvation Comes From the Lord’ in the ‘Man Overboard’ (*) sermon series.

The Prayer of Cyrus Brown
By Sam Walter Foss (1858–1911)

“THE PROPER way for a man to pray,”
Said Deacon Lemuel Keyes,
“And the only proper attitude,
Is down upon his knees.”

“No, I should say the way to pray,”
Said Reverend Doctor Wise,
“Is standing straight, with outstretched arms,
And rapt and upturned eyes.”

“Oh no; no, no,” said Elder Slow,
“Such posture is too proud:
A man should pray with eyes fast closed
And head contritely bowed.”

“It seems to me his hands should be
Austerely clasped in front,
With both thumbs pointing toward the ground,”
Said Reverend Doctor Blunt.

“Las’ year I fell in Hodgkin’s well
Head first,” said Cyrus Brown,
“With both my heels a-stickin’ up,
My head a-p’inting down;

“An’ I made a prayer right then an’ there—
Best prayer I ever said,
The prayingest prayer I ever prayed,
A-standing on my head.”

(*) While I encourage you to listen to the entire sermon, Pastor Begg recites the prayer about fourteen minutes into the recording.

2 thoughts on “The Prayer of Cyrus Brown

  1. I have a similar routine as yours. Early morning is when I like to do my bible study. Really enjoyed the poem and the sermon by Pastor Begg thank you for sharing. I’ve bookmarked Truth for Life and will continue to listen.

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