HELP, THANKS, WOW by Anne Lamott


The Three Essential Prayers
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A refreshingly simple approach to spiritual practice in a pint-sized reflection on prayer.

As the title of her book implies, Lamott (Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son, 2012, etc.) has taken an enormously complex and often debated topic and boiled it down to three basic elements that transcend doctrine or creed. Though in her previous books the author has been forthright about her Christianity, here she begins with a prelude that assures readers she’s not even remotely interested in trying to tell them who or what God is; she’s simply asking them to consider that there’s a Divine Being willing to run the show. How is one to get that process going? Prayer. More specifically, Lamott touts the spiritual power in powerlessness, gratitude and wonder. The three sections of the book aren’t solely about each one-word prayer; they’re more a running conversation about their collective influence in her life. “Help” is a complete prayer, writes Lamott, and uttering it creates space for solutions that humans have neither thought of nor could pull off on their own. In what at first may seem like a jumbled mashup of stories and reflections, Lamott manages to deftly convey the idea that in trying to control things, we’ve largely lost our ability to see the good and the miraculous in everyday life. And those commodities go a long way, she writes, in terms of making a Divine connection that brings a measure of hope and peace.

Though fans may be dismayed at the brevity of the book, there’s more here than meets the eye.

Pub Date: Nov. 13th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59463-129-0
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Riverhead
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2012


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