Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

help thanks wow the three essential prayers anne lamottPrayer can be simplified into three small words: help, thanks, and wow.

I haven’t read anything by Anne Lamott since Bird by Bird when I was in college.  But I’m in a bit of a spiritual crisis, as a result of my utter lack of knowledge of prayer outside of church (where, as an Episcopalian, there’s this awesome book that tells me what to say).  My experiences with prayer outside of formal worship are extemporaneous prayers that I know would feel strange in my mouth, so I often feel somewhat lost when there’s something I want to say to God that doesn’t fit into the words of the Book of Common Prayer.

Help, Thanks, Wow has at least partially resolved my prayer crisis.  Until I read this book, I had tried to match my prayers to those I’ve heard from priests and other ministers.  Anne has shown me that it doesn’t have to be that complicated.  If all I can think to say is help or thanks or wow, that’s enough.  God will fill in the blanks.  My feelings of prayer inadequacy have been greatly reduced.

I love the deceptive simplicity of Help, Thanks, Wow.  Many people without knowledge of what it means to write may not understand how difficult it is to write so simply (as a writer myself, I find it difficult to stick to my pledge on LeilaReads to keep my reviews short and simple).  It is our nature as humans to want to share our thoughts, and we are often overly wordy (myself included).  Like in works of art that seem simple (think Jackson Pollock), looks can be deceiving.  I have no doubt that much editing occurred before this small volume reached me.  And since simplicity was what I needed, I am grateful.

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