The "rabbi," the teacher at his best is presented in Matthew 6: 7 - 15. With 55 words Jesus puts before us what Paul encourages all who wish to follow Jesus do "without stopping."
Praying. Perhaps we think too much about what prayer is supposed to be. What steps do I take to become a 'good pray-er'? How do I make a good prayer? These questions and many others like them seem to plague the Christian communities. Seemingly it is difficult to be told by the greatest prayer instructor that all we need is 55 words! Not one additional word is need to earn the PN Degree. It is the simplest and easiest course anyone can ever complete.
Jesus does not ask us to memorize complex formulae. He does not tell us we have to learn a "foreign" language. His course does not require classes or text books as most understand them to be. He would surely recommend one "text book" if it is easily had: The Bible. It is a "vade mecum" that can be found in almost every country of the world and in many different version, even on the Internet. All that is required in his course is to be able to learn 55 words. 55 words! It is we human beings that make prayer so difficult. We have learned from our earliest years that success often demands academic achievement. Learning and more learning. We put that same demand on our relationship with God and learning how to pray.
The real challenge of prayer is simply this: Do I believe? Do I have the courage and strength to accept the teaching of Praying 101? Do I trust that Professor Jesus has put before me the simplest text to earn the most rewarding and satisfying advanced degree in 55 simple words and thoughts? Graduation and the awarding of the degree happen every day when Christians truly believe in this one prayer is God and all his goodness to us. All we have to do is our homework each day: lift up mind and heart to the Creator with 55 words! There is no other "degree" more rewarding that the PN Degree (The Pater Noster Degree). Congratulations, graduates! Imagine, you really don't have to master a required reading list ... this morning the Amazon listings for books on prayer total 64,271.