Father Girardey writes: “When we pray, we should ask God for what we need the most, that is, for spiritual gifts, for what concerns the salvation of our soul, for, asks our divine Saviour, ‘what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? Or what exchange will he give for his soul?’ (Mt 16:26) Nothing should be dearer to us than our immortal soul, for if we lose it, all is for ever lost for us. We should ask God to supply all the needs of our soul. To pray for these we should know them, and to find them out we should reflect much, examine what sins we usually commit, what hindrances we have to overcome to work out our salvation, instead of turning all our attention to our corporal and temporal wants.”
“What is it we can and should ask God in the name of our Saviour, unless it be at least principally that which concerns the salvation of our soul, for which the Son of God became man and died on the cross? Hence we may ask the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, only for those things which directly or indirectly concern the salvation of our soul; as for that which has no reference whatever or is in opposition or injurious to the salvation of our soul we cannot claim to be heard by God, for such things are not included in the divine promise. As to spiritual goods, as to our needs in the work of our salvation, we may be sure of receiving them, when we ask them of the Father in the name of Jesus Christ.”
What concerns our salvation? “True sorrow for our sins, the forgiveness of our sins, confidence in God, the love of God and of our neighbor, humility, patience and resignation in sickness and trials, strength in temptations, the grace to pray well, holy purity, meekness, fidelity to our good resolutions, and the like.”
Quotations from Ferreol Girardey, Prayer: Its Necessity, Its Power, Its Conditions (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916).