Wouldn’t you agree that in our petition prayers, we are asking for grace?  If we pray for health, finances, comfort, guidance, etc., aren’t we really asking the Lord to extend His grace to us according to our need?

Consider what we read in 1 Peter 5:6-7, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  When we humble ourselves before the Lord, He will take all our cares and minister to us according to our needs.  That is the very definition of grace.  Grace is defined as “God’s unmerited favor.”  That simply means that we have never deserved God’s favor (grace), but He bestows it anyway.

Let’s look at the portion you referenced in your question.  2 Corinthians 12:7-9, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  After praying three times to have his “thorn in the flesh” removed, the Apostle Paul heard from the Lord.  In essence, the Lord told Paul that He would not remove the thorn, but He would GIVE HIM THE GRACE TO ENDURE IT.  Paul delighted in the response from the Lord for he replied in verse 10, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Let’s also consider Peter’s words in 2 Peter 3:17-18, “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But GROW IN GRACE, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”  Here, Peter is contrasting a failure to be steadfast (persistent) with growing, (advancing) in spiritual growth.  We are warned that we should not “fall from your own stedfastness.”  The Apostle Paul expressed a similar thought in Ephesians 4:15, “But speaking the truth in love, may GROW UP INTO HIM in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”  It is often said about the life of the believer, that we are either advancing or we are slipping.  There is no standing still.  We are exhorted to GROW IN GRACE, or to continue in the things pertaining to the Lord and to gain more knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  We might ask the Lord to help us be consistent in our lives, but we see that the responsibility to GROW IN GRACE is put upon us.  However, we cannot do anything to please the Lord without living in dependence upon Him.

Romans 5:2 says, “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” We stand every hour of every day in the GRACE OF GOD.  Even when we aren’t aware of it, we are completely dependent upon God’s grace.  (367.4)