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Updated on May 8, 2014
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I was dusting the small library one day and my eyes spotted this very, very old scrapbook that belongs to my husband's grandfather. It was called "The Friendly Foley Book" by James W. Foley. This was a book containing new verses of human folks as the author calls it, which was copyrighted 1916.

I love verses and I love poetry. Now here is one that got me...


The Interrupted Prayer


I sat in my pew

And he sat just in front,

Where I laid down my hat

Underneath, as my wont;

And when he knelt to pray

My heart went pit-a-pat,

For his two feet someway

He had thrust in my hat.


When I laid my hat there

It was not in my mind

That he might somehow kneel

With both feet straight behind;

But he did, as I say,

I saw sole, heel and spat,

When he knelt down to pray

With both feet in my hat.


I am prayerful, myself,

I am that way inclined,

But to things of the flesh

I can hardly be blind,

And the prayer in my book

Grew somehow state and flat,

When I happened to look

At his feet in my hat.


'Twas a stylish new hat

That I kept with much care,

It was edged round with silk

And it gave me an air

Of distinction and dash,

And I though as I sat

That it cost too much cash

To have feet in my hat.


And the Rector intoned

Things I needed to hear,

But I sat there and groaned

With an unheeding ear,

For, say, how can a prayer

Be but idle and flat,

When a sinner's in front

With his feet in your hat?


And the prayer said: "Now, Lord,

Guide our footsteps aright,"

To which I could subscribe

With my heartiest might;

And I added a clause

That I deemed to be pat:

"Please, Lord, won't you guide

His feet out of my hat."


And I know for the truth

That you miss half the power

Of that finest of prayer,

Of its richness and flower,

And the rector's appeal

Seems dull, idle and flat,

When a sinner's in front

With his feet in your hat.


We have different interpretation and understanding of God's message according to His wisdom, the same thing on this poem...

This poem might be funny to some of us, but the whole message of it speaks the reality that sometimes... we see ourselves in this kind of situation. We are inside attending the church service but our mind is not in communion with the Lord. Some people call it... physically present but mentally absent, or sometimes... we are mentally present and praying and participating but we had a separate kind of prayer thinking of business, thinking of appointments, thinking of the worldly things outside... I believe the author wanted to express his thoughts that no matter how fine is the sermon, no matter how good is the prayer if our heart is not in it... we will miss the richness and the blessing thinking of the distraction laid down by the enemy.

Satan is very good in tempting people even inside the church. Actually the church building is just the building ... the real church is the people... as the living temple of God. That is why the devil will try to distract God's children especially in praise and worship because the enemy knows that praise and worship are keys to the Father's heart.


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  • ajbless48 profile image

    ajbless48 7 years ago from Clearwater

    Thank you for your comment Ghost Whisper77. Yes, I agree that it happens out of church also... everything in the world that does not conform to the Word of God... is not of God.

    Peace and blessings to you and your family... :)

  • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

    The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 7 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

    Yes! The devil will cause many to put others feet in your hat--Great Hub! I am sitting here thinking about this poem, your words and how often that happens inside churches as well. It happens out of church also. I am thinking of how satan has had other's feet inside my hat at times....thanks for a great HUB!

  • ajbless48 profile image

    ajbless48 7 years ago from Clearwater

    Thank you for the comment godpreacher. Peace and blessings to you and your family :).

  • profile image

    godpreacher 7 years ago


    Great Poem.

    Yes, it is funny. But it does show us how easy it is to become distracted by the temporal, and miss the eternal.

    Thanks for sharing

    God Bless