Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers

"I do not know much about God and prayer," writes Anne Lamott in her book, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. "But I have come to believe, over the last twenty-five years, that there's something to be said about keeping prayer simple."

True to her belief, in Help Thanks Wow, Lamott has written a simple book about keeping prayer simple. Like all of her writings, this book is honest, charming, and thoughtful. It is not a how-to volume, but three short and readable essays that ought to encourage heartfelt, effective prayer in anyone. She may be more expansive or indistinct in her believing, praying, and writing than some would like (referring to God sometimes as "Her" or "Him or Her," for example), but as an unabashed Anne Lamott fan, I find her style and tone unfailingly infectious. I find myself nodding when she writes, "I ask that God's will be done, and I mostly sort of mean it." I feel like I'm on solid ground right next to her when she cites "the three most terrible truths of our existence: that we are so ruined, and so loved, and in charge of so little." That's Gospel. And I cannot suppress a smile of appreciation and agreement when I read, "God's idea of a good time is to see us picking up litter." That's Gospel, too.

At a mere 102 pages in a small format, Help Thanks Wow is a short and easy read, and--like all of Lamott's writings--delightful and encouraging.

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