by Dr. Janice Staab

Stop Asking for Stones and Serpents: How the Way We Pray Can Block God's Blessings

Just as we are habitually drawn to particular flavors and foods, certain habits of praying are easier and more natural to us than others. They appeal to our tastes, mesh with our desires, and put us at ease in approaching God. But not all physical or spiritual food nourishes us equally well and not all habits that help us short term are healthy for the long haul. In fact, some ways of praying that initially bring us closer to God can actually prevent us from growing in faith if we hang onto them too long. We become stuck in what should have been mere stages in our spiritual development.

In Stop Asking for Stones and Serpents, Dr. Janice Staab shines a light on some ways of praying that block God’s blessings and love from being fully active in our lives. She examines in detail how the things we pray for (stones) and the methods we pray with (serpents) can distract us from God’s will for our lives and keep us from receiving all He wants to share. In this book, you will learn how to 1) readily spot the unhelpful prayer habits in your own life, and 2) cultivate the courage to pray the prayers that expand and deepen your relationship with God even in times of suffering and stress. The book is supported by stories of biblical figures who have been where we are and run up against the same prayer obstacles that we do today.  Each chapter concludes with a reflective prayer exercise designed as a jumping off point for activating these spiritual principles in daily life.