Going through a “dry period” in your prayer life? Struggling with evident immaturity in the content and focus of your prayers? Wondering what selfless prayer rooted in spiritual maturity even sounds like?
Consider one example, written centuries ago by Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). Take your time and meditate on the maturity reflected in the tone, focus, and direction. It might even help to read it out loud.
__________O merciful God, grant that I may
_____________and bring to perfect completion
________________whatever is pleasing to You for the praise
________________and glory of Your name.
__________Put my life in good order, O my God;
_____________grant that I may know what You require me to do.
__________Bestow upon me the power to accomplish Your will
_____________as is necessary and fitting for the salvation of my soul.
__________Grant to me, O Lord my God,
_____________that I may not falter in times of prosperity or adversity,
_____________so that I may not be exalted in the former, nor dejected in the latter.
__________May I not rejoice in anything unless it leads me to You;
_____________may I not be saddened by anything unless it turns me from You.
__________May I desire to please no one, nor fear to displease anyone, but You.
__________May all transitory things, O Lord, be worthless to me,
_____________and may all things eternal be ever cherished by me.
__________May any joy without You be burdensome for me,
_____________and may I not desire anything else besides You.
__________May all work, O Lord, delight me when done for Your sake,
_____________and may all rest not centered in You be ever wearisome for me.
__________Grant unto me, my God, that I may direct my heart to You,
_____________and that in my failures I may ever feel remorse for my sins
_____________and never lose the resolve to change.
__________O Lord my God, make me
_____________obedient without protest,
_____________poor without discouragement,
_____________chaste without regret,
_____________patient without complaint,
_____________humble without posturing,
_____________cheerful without frivolity,
_____________mature without gloom,
_____________quick-witted without flippancy,
_____________fear You without despairing,
_____________truthful without duplicity,
_____________do good works without presumption,
_____________reprove my neighbor without exulting,
________________him by word and example.
__________Give to me, O Lord God, a watchful heart,
_____________which no capricious thought can lure away from You.
__________Give to me a noble heart,
_____________which no unworthy desire can debase.
__________Give to me a virtuous heart,
_____________which no evil intention can divert.
__________Give to me a constant heart,
_____________which no tribulation can overcome.
__________Give to me a free heart,
_____________which no violent passion can enslave.
__________Give to me, O Lord my God,
_____________understanding of You,
_____________diligence in seeking You,
_____________wisdom in finding You,
_____________conversation pleasing to You,
_____________perseverance in waiting for You,
_____________and confidence in finally embracing You.
_____________in refining repentance
________________I may be afflicted by Your hardships now,
________________I may rely on Your blessings along the way,
_____________and in glory
________________I may enjoy You fully in the kingdom of heaven.
__________To You who live and reign, God, forever and ever.