The Prayer of the Hypocrite and the Heathen
Part One
Walter Beuttler

Comments:

1) All scriptures are from the KJV except where noted.

2) This message has been transcribed word for word (from Walter Beuttler's own teachings) as accurately as possible (due to the quality of the recording).

3) Walter Beuttler had his own dictionary of favorite words he used throughout his messages, and they have been transcribed and spelled out accordingly.

4) Spelling on certain proper names, airports, hotels, locations, etc. may not be exact.

5) Messages were spoken late 1960's, early 1970's

6) Walter Beuttler was a Bible teacher at NBI (a.k.a. EBI, Eastern Bible Institute) for 32 years traveling worldwide since early 1950's until a year before he went to be with the Lord in 1974.

That brings me to the burden of our subject for this week, the School of Prayer, the Lord's School of Prayer. You know in the Old Testament there were apparently at least three Bible schools (we call them that) in existence. They were called the school of the prophets.

There was one at Gilgal, one at Bethel and one in Jericho. Jericho Bible College apparently had 50 students enrolled.

I've been teaching Old Testament for many years and one year as I was meditating on my work, something struck me and never left me. When God needed a successor to Elijah, He did not go to the Bible School at Gilgal, or at Bethel, or at Jericho to find a successor to Elijah. You have to understand the way I say things. You have to get to know me. I'm a hard fellow to know. I know that. If God did go to Gilgal, He wasn't satisfied, not for what He needed. If He went to Bethel, He didn't choose anybody. If He went to the President of the Jericho Bible College for a possible successor, He did not choose one.

And then God went out to the plow. Now whether God considered these schools, I do not know, but we do know that God needed a man, a man of the Spirit, a man whom God could clothe with His mantle; not a ministerial robe, but a robe of the power of God. God chose that man from behind the plow.

What struck me was this: When God cannot find what He needs, He's under no obligation to use any graduate of any school just because they have a diploma. If He cannot find in our schools, theological schools, what He needs for His work, He's not obligated to use any of us. He still can go out to the plow, to the workshop, to the know-nothings and have-nothings, and raise up His own men and His own women. I think that the religious organizations ought to think of that. I'm not saying that only here. I've said it elsewhere in high places. I said it in Manila to a large convention of missionaries from all over the Pacific.

That brings me to the burden of our subject for this week, the Lord's School of Prayer. May I suggest that my observation has been that prayerless is becoming an increasing malaise in the ministry. The prayerlessness in the ministry is often astounding. Even on the mission field, I've been astonished at the little regard for prayer and waiting on God. But if I understand the Lord's practice right and His teaching, and that of the apostles, then prayer ought to be one of our most important components in the ministry. Paul spoke about prayer, that we might continually give ourselves to prayer. How much the Lord taught His disciples on prayer. I know I cannot exist without prayer, without waiting on God. In fact, I'm jealously guarding my own times of having an opportunity for waiting on God.

I was in Melbourne, Australia one year for a week. The leader said, "Brother Beuttler, how about coming back to our Christmas camp?" Camp down there is from Christmas Day to New Year.

I said, "Well, as far as scheduling is concerned, we have a school vacation. I could come, but Melbourne is a long ways from Green Lane."

He said, "I know what you mean. You're thinking of the cost."

I said, "Of course, I would have to ." After all, I don't go begging.

He said, "If I'm asking you to come, I'll pay your fare. How much is it?"

I said, "It's about $1,450.00."

He said, "That all right. Are you coming?"

"Yes ," I said, "I can come."

He said, "I'm also bringing over a man from Springfield." This man was then the General Secretary of the Assemblies of God. He was to be the evangelist and I had the ministers' seminar in the morning Bible study.

I said to him, "Brother, if you're going to bring both of us over, will you please not put us on the same flight."

He said, "You mean, you don't want to ride with a man from Springfield? " That sounds bad, doesn't it?

I said, "That's what I mean." Then fearing that he would misunderstand, I said, "Do you know what I mean?"

He said, "I think I do. What you want is to be alone on your trans-Pacific flight so you can spend your time with God. I figured that out from your teaching this week."

I said, "That's the reason." You know some people, and preachers too; they chew your ears off. They have nothing to say and insist on saying it (Laughter)...and take hours to do it. There you are losing precious time.

I figured, "When people pay $1,450 for a ticket for one week of ministry, they're entitled to get something." (I had to come right back.) I wanted to take my time, hour after hour, sitting in the Lord's Presence waiting on the Lord, so when I get there, I'd have something to say from the heart of God. To me, such times are indispensable. I have to make room for that. We in the ministry need to make room for times of prayer, seeking God, waiting on God, even though I well know there is such a thing as the devotions of our heart continuing even as we are engaged in other types of work. That's possible, but that's not our subject, so let's turn for a moment to Luke 11:1:

"And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples."

Now notice something here: Jesus was praying in a certain place. The place is not identified. I don't suppose it needs to be, but the Lord was in a certain place. I do not know whether this was His habitual place, but the fact remains there are times when we need a place to pray.

When I'm home, I have my study, and I don't like people to come and barge in. That's my little sanctum and very few people are ever invited in there. That is where I have my devotion with God when I'm home. Of course, when you're traveling, then an airport terminal, a hotel lobby or a 747 flight can become your place.

Jesus was habitual in seeking out a place to pray. "As He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased." Incidentally, the Lord apparently knew when to stop. Some people don't. Have you ever heard people pray and you think they will never stop?

I was in Italy down in Sicily. We had dinner. Well, the family had (I wouldn't remember) maybe 5 children. At dinnertime, everybody had to kneel. The food was sitting on the table, and if I hate anything, it's hot food cold and hot coffee cold. You might just as well keep it. I don't want it when it's cold. Here was the hot food. We all had to kneel. Each one had to pray out loud. The father came last. I think he must have prayed for half an hour, all around the world. He included everything and everybody. By the time we sat down to eat, obviously, it was cold. I had to eat it, but I would have preferred to do without. I thought that man would never stop. Well, Jesus ceased.

One of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray. This to me is remarkable. What was there about the prayer of Jesus that caused this disciple to say, "Lord, teach us to pray?" I do not know who the disciple was. I've studied it out, but I can't find it. I suppose it's really immaterial, but you know, you get nosy. Lord, teach us to pray. Why did this disciple say that?

Now I don't know if the Lord prayed audibly. Personally, I think He did. It would seem that if the Lord had not done so, this disciple would hardly have said, Lord, teach us to pray. He would have had no basis for saying that, so I rather think that the Lord was praying audibly. You know there is something to audible praying that you do not get in silent prayer normally, and the reverse is also true.

Our devotional life must not consist merely of silent devotion. If we avoid the audible prayer, you will likely find our silent devotion gets to be a mystical stew of some kind. There needs to be a counter balance to audible praying; and audible praying needs the counter balance of silent praying, a silent waiting on God lest it become too formal.

The Lord must have prayed, I think, audibly. First of all, assuming that that is so, I would say that the Lord's prayer created a desire in this disciple's heart to pray as the Lord prayed. Why otherwise would he say, "Lord, teach us to pray?"

Notice here: Apparently men need to be taught how to pray. We need to be taught not only how to pray, but to pray. Some people know how to pray, but do not pray. Some people pray and do not know how to pray. We need to know how to pray, aright, effectively. We'll get into that. Knowing that, we need to pray.

Apparently man, in his natural state, does not know how to pray-how to approach God effectively. This disciple said, "Lord, teach us to pray." Obviously, the Lord's prayer, shall I say, or can I use the word created a desire in this disciple's heart to pray as the Lord prayed. He wanted to pray as the Lord prayed. I assume he meant with the same earnestness, the same quality, the same understanding. This disciple had a desire born in his heart to pray when he heard the Lord pray.

That raises a question in my heart. How many people wish, or have a desire created in their heart by my praying? Now in public, I'm a very silent man. I don't sing much. I do not pray much, the reason being: I have to spare my battery. I have a problem here with energy. I have an energy problem physically. I wear down so I have to conserve energy. That's why I leave a meeting right away, why I don't participate in it. I participate all right, but not with my voice because I have to save my battery.

Years ago, I was saved in Glad Tidings Tabernacle. I walked in because I wanted a place to sit, and there was no place to sit in New York. There was the church and I decided, "I'll go and sit in the back. At least I'll have a place to sit ." I wasn't interested, BUT I don't know what happened.

At the end of the service, the lady evangelist, a Miss Aires-some of you old timers might remember her-said, "If anyone needs Jesus, please raise your hand." I don't know what happened to me, but my hand went up. All I was back there for was to sit down someplace. I'd been tired walking the streets. I lived in New York.

There was nobody else. She said, " Young man, will you please stand to your feet." O brother! That I didn't expect. Well, I stood. "Young man, will you please come up to this altar and kneel down." O was I embarrassed, and I'm easily embarrassed anyhow. Was I embarrassed!

And I walked up and knelt down quivering and shaking. She said, "You young people, will you just gather around this young man and we'll all have a prayer meeting, worship the Lord."

The young fellows were asked to go on this side. The girls were asked to go on that side of the platform, turned at an angle like that. Well, I didn't know what to do there, so I did some watching. Over here was a little blond girl. I still remember her blond hair rolling down her back, down to her shoulder, and I kept watching her. What else was there to watch? (Laughter).

Now I had no romantic ideas, not at that moment. You don't know anything about that do you? (Laughter) I was watching her and she was over there. Then I prayed my first prayer ever. I said, "O God, I wish I could pray like that girl."

No sooner had I said that in my heart only, the power of God struck me (and I knew nothing about this), lifted me bodily off the floor completely (I was on my knees), and I went up and down rapidly like the pistons of an engine, just like this, and was thrown over like a bolt of lightening had struck me. There I lay prostrate under the power.

Robert Brown lifted me up at 12:30 that night. I was staggering like a drunk. That's right. He said, "Brother whoever you are, God's done a great thing for you tonight." And I staggered out like a drunk. I was out on the steps of Glad Tidings Tabernacle close to 1:00 o'clock at night, something like that. I shouted down 33rd Street, "Hallelujah!"

Now that wasn't appropriate, but a newborn baby is appropriate? What do they know about propriety? I didn't know anything about that kind of propriety.

I went up to the elevator train to go back to my little skylight room at 69th Street. The theater people had been coming home from the theaters. The car was crowded. I walked in and stood at the end and shouted, "Praise the Lord! I got saved tonight." They looked as though they saw a maniac, but it was real.

And yet, that girl's prayer (and I wouldn't know her today) created a desire in my heart, something I would judge like this disciple when he said, "Lord, teach us to pray."

Now, we are turning to the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, to follow up on the Lord's teaching on prayer. This will take us every morning. We'll go through the Lord's Prayer, and hope the Lord's Prayer will go through to us.

You know it's possible to pray or to say the Lord's Prayer a thousand times without praying it once. We're not talking about saying pretty prayers. God is not interested in pretty prayers. God is not even interested in ecclesiastical prayers, "O Lord!" (Said sarcastically). Then we come with our ecclesiastical phraseologies, our Pentecostal clichés. God must be so tired of them. We want real prayer without necessarily a specific format. Now let's see what the Lord taught these disciples:

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." Matthew 6:5-8

Down at school one night a few years ago, the Lord awakened me with His Presence very, very early in the morning. I don't recall the hour. He drew my attention to this area of truth, and I began to see something I had never seen before. I'll be sharing some of those things with you.

Here, the Lord is answering this disciple's prayer. Did you notice now in teaching them how to pray, and to pray, the Lord is making reference to three different kinds of prayers. In fact, we have in the passage I have read, three different kinds of prayer offered by three different kinds of people using three different kinds of methods with three different kinds of results. That should be interesting, to me it is.

All right, in verse 5, the Lord makes reference to the prayer of a hypocrite. I know there are no hypocrites in Lima or the whole Rochester area, but we'll talk about them anyway.

In verse 6, he talks about the prayer of a child of God, a son.

In verse 7 and 8, he talks about the prayer of a heathen. Do you notice that in teaching these disciples how to pray, He's also teaching them how not to pray? We need the negative as well as the positive. I'll speak on the negative first because the positive takes most of our time.

The prayer of a hypocrite, "Thou shalt not be as the hypocrites" are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets. Notice something: Jesus did not say they loved to pray. It wasn't praying which they loved, but they loved to pray standing in the streets. It was the place of their prayers that they loved more so than their prayers. It's like saying, "They loved to pray standing in Times Square, New York, Piccadilly Circle, London and the Plaza in Rochester." What for?

Not because those places were conducive to prayer, but because those places are good places for observation. They like to be observed. They like to be seen standing in Rochester's Plaza, in New York's Time Square and what have you. They loved to be observed by as many people as possible.

It was not so much that they prayed to God. It was rather that they said prayers in pretense of praying to God, when in reality their primary objective was to receive the praises of men. They wanted to make beautiful prayers. They made long prayers. They liked to have their pretended spirituality observed. They wanted the congratulations of the people.

"O Reverend, that was a beautiful prayer! And the words you used! You have some vocabulary. Why Reverend, you used the most beautiful words. I didn't understand them, but they were beautiful. That was a marvelous prayer."

"Thank you sister. Thank you sister." That's what they want.

To save a little time, I'm going to commit the unpardonable sin by reading to you from my notes on the Lord's Prayer. Some of you have them, I know. But by reading it, I have it succinctly condensed and I can save time because of the clock.

Characteristics of the hypocrite's prayer:

1) Wrong motivation - The hypocrite prays to men under the guise of praying to God. In actuality he does not pray, he only parades his pretended devotion in order to solicit men's favorable opinion and admiration.

2) False evaluation - The hypocrites with their irreligious religion were more interested in being seen by men then they were in being heard by God because they valued the praise of men much more than the praise of God.

3) Vanity - The hypocrites' yearning for the gratification of his vainglorious desires made him select the public concourses and religious centers for prayer not because they loved to pray, but because they loved to pray THERE. They wouldn't bother praying in secret, but if somebody can take them to the Midtown Plaza in Rochester and put them up on a pedestal there to offer a prayer, that they love. That's the idea.

4) Worthless compensation - Inasmuch as the religious hypocrites were only interested in the praise of men, that is the only reward they get which is, when they do get it, at best only a temporary reward of doubtful merit.

Jesus said, "When you pray, do not pray like the hypocrites, with a wrong motivation, having a false evaluation, vain ostentation and worthless compensation." That's the hypocrite's prayer and Jesus said, "Don't pray as they pray."

Now we drop down to the heathen's prayer, because the son's prayer will occupy our principal time. The heathen's prayer, and here is meant the gentiles, the non-Jews, also has its characteristics. Verse 7, "When ye pray, use not vain repetition as the heathen do."

Most anybody that has been in, what we call, heathen countries can observe the routine, the endless repetition of people's prayers in their places of worship. I'm not suggesting we cannot repeat a prayer. I'm not saying anything against repetition. Repetition is a matter of definition. It's a case of vain repetition, mere repetition.

I have prayers that I have prayed a thousand times, speaking in hypothetic language. I've many times prayed like Solomon, " Give thou thy servant a hearing heart." I've often prayed that at night before going to bed. A hearing heart, we have an understanding heart, but it's a hearing heart, a heart that harkeneth. What I mean when I pray it at night is, "Lord, give thou thy servant a hearing heart. In case You call during the night, I don't want to miss you. Give me understanding to know whether it's You that's awakening me or something else."

I've prayed Moses' prayer many times, many times; "Show me now thy way, that I may know thee." That's not repetition. That is simply offering a fresh prayer in the same words, but the heathen's prayer is mere repetitiousness, thinking that by repeating the same words over and over, the very repetitiousness is going to bring merit.

I remember a sick lady who was praying something like this, "O Lord, heal me, heal me, heal me, heal me, heal me, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, heal me, heal me, heal me, heal me." I suppose God went like this (demonstrated). That's the heathen's prayer.

Did you ever hear heathen pray, Pentecostal heathen? They say it over and over, and over, and over again. There's a difference between mere repetitiousness and praying the same thing time and again. Jesus did.

"When ye pray, use not vain repetition as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." Matthew 6:7

It's not the multiplication of words any more than it is the length of the prayers of the Pharisees who thought the longer they made their prayers, the greater would be the results. I rather think that people who know how to pray are not likely to pray very long prayers. I suspect many times people in church make their long unending prayers because they don't do any praying at home.

Some mighty powerful prayers can be extremely short, and prayers that stretch all the way from New York to San Francisco couldn't produce anything. It's not their length, and it's not the repetitiousness, the multiplication of words. It's something all together different. Look here what Jesus said, and we'll get into the difference:

"Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him." Matthew 6:8

You see the Lord is here pointing somewhat indirectly to their relationship to the heavenly Father because the effectiveness of our prayers is more determined by our personal relationship to the heavenly Father (I'll take considerable time with that tomorrow), than it is by the format, the choice of our words or by the correct use of our grammar or any such thing. It's much more a matter of personal relationship.

Briefly, I want to give you here the idea of the heathen's prayer, also 4 characteristics reading from my notes:

Characteristics of the heathen's prayer:

1) Wrong method - The heathen relies on the multiplication of words and mechanical recitation and reiteration of his requests as a meritorious means of being heard.

2) False assumption - Believing that the virtue of his prayers lies in the mere utterance of words, the heathen mistakenly takes for granted that he is being heard.

3) Vain repetition - The heathen seeks to render the empty verbosity of his prayers more effective by much repetition, thus reciting merely the same prayers over and over again without ever praying any of them.

4) Worthless effort - The futility of the heathen's prayer arises from the fact of his ignorance concerning the nature of true prayer, which is not a matter of words, but of meaning; not of form, but of heart; not of outward beauty, but of inward reality.

Now notice again in verse 8, "Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." Here we are told we are not to pray like the heathen because our Father already knows what we need. So that when we pray, let's say for money, which is a popular subject in Bible school and I have considerable to say before I leave on the laws that govern God's supply of our personal needs, in case some of you have any needs. We'll get to that. God, our Father, is already informed. Still He wants us to pray. I'll give you the reasons some other time because time is running out.

I'd like to close here with an instance that I had in pastoral work. Wife and I were pastoring and we had it very, very hard financially. That's in the early 1930's. One day Wife said to me, "Daddy, could I have $5.00? I want to go shopping."

I said, "To tell you the truth, I don't have anything." (Demonstrated by pulling out some money.) Now I have something here so don't think I'm taking up an offering! (Laughter) But there was literally nothing.

I said, "Elizabeth, I don't have anything."

She asked, "I can't go to the A&P?"

I said, "I just don't have it." And the A&P doesn't accept faith as legal tender. Some people say, "I'll go by faith," but faith doesn't pay for some things, you know.

But the thing struck me so I said, "You just stay here. I want to go in my room." I went to the bedroom. I'm giving you this thing accurately, absolute precision. This begins to take you into my style of praying. I pray differently.

I don't come to God, "Now Lord, I'm going to storm the gates of heaven." (Spits on both hands getting ready for a fight.) " God, I need a $1,000 for an airplane ticket. God..." (Spits, umphs, grits teeth and pounds on pulpit.) I don't beat the dust out of the carpet to get an answer from God. That's the heathen's prayer.

That's what the prophets of Baal did. "O Baal hear us. See the blood run. O Baal hear us." (Spits on hands straining for an answer.) "You got to answer." You wonder why God doesn't.

I have my ways. I'll stay with them. Yes, I'll stay with them all the time. I had a bill from Pan American one year, $1,600 for some kind of a ticket: Walter H. Beuttler, round-the-world fares $1,600. I was in my office at the school. In my office I had a large map of the world. I looked at this bill and said, "Lord, that's funny. They got the wrong address." You see, when the Lord asks me to travel, I talk to Him about fares. That cost money, and the Lord gave me this in here (stomach area), "If I send you, I pay your fare. If you send yourself, you pay your own." (Laughter) I never forgot that.

So I said, "Father, they got the wrong address here. It's Your responsibility to pay the bill. It's my responsibility to go." So I put my hand on the Far East, the other hand on this bill. I said, "Father, I just got this bill from Pan American, but actually that should be addressed to You."

Do you think I sweat for a fare? I will not. My fares run high, $2500-$3500 a year I pay in traveling. Do you think I sweat over that or lose sleep? Oh no! He can do that if He wants to, I won't. I'll go, He pays, no pay, no go. It's as simple as that. (Laughter). I mean it, no pay, no go.

I have to close. What shall we say? We'll say with the disciple, Lord teach us to pray. And tomorrow morning we'll go on from here.