There are many passages in the Bible that speak of praying for yourself. Jesus did so – “He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). And in Matthew 7:7 we read – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened”.
So, what should we pray to receive? Many would say to pray to know God’s will; and indeed this is an excellent choice.
But, may I suggest praying for the grace to tackle the spiritual work that you need to accomplish before attaining Heaven. Why? Because it is specifically God’s will for you – perhaps not all of it but certainly the vast majority of it. It is what is blocking you from spiritual growth and not allowing God to come closer to you. The reason souls go to purgatory is unfinished spiritual work.
You are either going to have to take care of it now, while alive, or in purgatory. Cooperating with God now is obviously going to be a much easier path to follow than waiting until it is forced upon you. God will allow you certain freedoms – working at a pace that is comfortable for you and skipping over things that you can’t or don’t want to deal with at the present time and replacing them with others that you are willing to tackle.
You can’t avoid taking care of your spiritual business. Yes, it can be difficult at times; but would you really rather deal with it in purgatory? Be wise and courageous; make a commitment today to yourself and God to take it on, and you can look forward to the many graces and favors God will bestow on you.