Thursday of the First Week of Lent
Esther C:12,14-16,23-25 + Matthew 7:7-12
“… how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.”
When a Christian is a beginner in the spiritual life, most of his prayers are likely prayers of petition. As he grows in spiritual maturity, fewer of his prayers will be petitions. More of his prayers will be of the other three types of vocal prayer: contrition, thanksgiving and adoration.
However, is one of the goals of the spiritual life to no longer offer prayers of petition? Should you strive to reach the point where you no longer “need” to offer petitions? Would this even be possible?
In the secular culture that surrounds us, independence is prized. Standing on one’s own two feet is a hallmark of personal identity. But Christian growth is marked by becoming more like a little child. This occurs as one realizes one’s deep and abiding—indeed, everlasting—dependence upon God the Father. One doesn’t, strictly speaking, grow in dependence upon God, for one can never be anything but fully dependent upon Him. One grows, rather, in one’s awareness of this dependence, as well as one’s comfort in resting in His providential care.