“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
In today’s Gospel passage are two people who see how God wants to be in their lives in time of need. You yourself, no doubt, field petitions from those whom you serve in your vocation. So many people turn to Christ in need. If it weren’t for petitionary prayer, the prayer lives of many Christians would never get off the ground! But it’s a start. God is content to listen to all the prayers of petition that His children wish to make.
Consider the woman in the Gospel, who had suffered for so many years. She interrupts Christ in the midst of His trying to help someone else. We should make that woman’s faith our own: not simply her faith in Christ’s power, but also her faith in His patience and compassion. There is no true need in our lives that we should not offer to God.
Is every petition answered as we wish, as are the petitions of this woman and the official? Some Christians stop offering their petitions to God—or even stop believing in God—when He doesn’t provide the response they want. Growth in prayer includes the experience of accepting God each time He says “No” to us, and learning through those experiences of “No” to trust His providential Will more deeply.