Review: Help, Thanks, Wow

When it comes to talking to God, says bestselling writer Anne Lamott in her new book, these three words are all you really need.

January 31, 2013 by Ken Ramstead


I’m an awful “pray-er.” That is, my friends can pray extemporaneously, on anything and everything. Me, I fumble and bumble and don’t really get to the point of what I want to say to God. I feel I’m shortchanging Him whenever I close my eyes and pray.

Prayer 101
It was heartening, then, to read Anne Lamott’s new book, Help, Thanks, Wow.

“I do not know much about God and prayer,” Lamott writes, “but I have come to believe, over the past 25 years, that there’s something to be said about keeping prayer simple. My three prayers are variations on Help, Thanks, Wow. That’s all I ever need, besides the silence, the pain and the pause sufficient for me to stop, close my eyes and turn inward.”

It is these three prayers—asking for assistance, appreciating the good we witness and feeling awe at the world—that get Lamott through the day.

A single mom who has had her share of grief and lean times, the award-winning writer convincingly articulates her spirituality and great faith in this book. “God can handle honesty,” she writes, “and prayer begins with an honest conversation.”

So go ahead. Start with those three simple words: Help, Thanks, Wow. You’ll be surprised what you come up with from there.


Phil?
Anne Lamott refers to God as “Phil.” Why?

“I called God Phil after a Mexican bracelet maker promised to write ‘Phil 4:4-7’ on my bracelet, Philippians 4:4-7 being my favourite passage of Scripture, but only got as far as ‘Phil’ before having to dismantle his booth. Phil is a great name for God.”

Speak Your Mind

*

Faithful Warrior

Faithful Warrior

God’s promises sustain me as I battle cancer.

The Living Word Lives Again

The Living Word Lives Again

Salvation Army television show finds a new audience online.

Opinion & Critical Thought

Who Has Seen the Wind

Who Has Seen the Wind

Finding rest in the busy seasons of life.

A Living Sacrifice

A Living Sacrifice

The Easter story challenges us to mobilize for the kingdom.

Territorial News

Annual Change 2017

Annual Change 2017

On behalf of the Territorial Commander, we are pleased to announce the following appointments, effective Friday, June 30, 2017 (unless otherwise stated).

New Program Helps Students Combat Weekend Hunger

New Program Helps Students Combat Weekend Hunger

Meal program ensures Wetaskiwin, Alta., children have healthy meals outside school times.

International News

The General Requests Prayer for Papua New Guinea

The General Requests Prayer for Papua New Guinea

After violent riots near territorial headquarters, Salvation Army commits to supporting the community to rebuild.

General Leads 150th Anniversary Celebrations at Oldest Surviving Salvation Army Corps

General Leads 150th Anniversary Celebrations at Oldest Surviving Salvation Army Corps

“William Booth would be proud and pleased to see that The Salvation Army in Poplar is still fulfilling the mission of God,” General André Cox declares.

Faith & Friends

Culinary Kindness

Culinary Kindness

With The Salvation Army’s help, a cooking school in Victoria is overcoming barriers.

Refashionista Rules!

Refashionista Rules!

Fashion blogger Sheri Pavlović shares her thrift-store savvy with The Salvation Army.