link to spiritual health survey results information page

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

*

Recipe for Success

Recipe for Success

God is faithful, even when life isn’t a piece of cake.

Rising Strong

Rising Strong

A former survival sex worker becomes a warrior for Christ.

Opinion & Critical Thought

A Losing Game

A Losing Game

Are the Olympics worth the price?

Fast Forward

Fast Forward

The hunger that drives us to God.

Territorial News

Territory Announces Formation of Canadian Staff Songsters

Territory Announces Formation of Canadian Staff Songsters

Brigade will set the standard for all aspects of Salvation Army vocal ministry.

General Bramwell Tillsley Releases New Book

General Bramwell Tillsley Releases New Book

It Is Written is an inspiring collection of writings from a lifetime of ministry.

International News

General Leads Anniversary Celebrations in Papua New Guinea

General Leads Anniversary Celebrations in Papua New Guinea

Hundreds gather to worship and to hear God’s message.

The Salvation Army Marks World Refugee Day

General André Cox encourages Salvationists to sign petition to stand #WithRefugees.

Faith & Friends

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep …

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep …

A week on a couch gave me renewed empathy for the people I help.

Summer of Adventure

Summer of Adventure

Faith, confidence and fun blend at The Salvation Army’s Newport camp.