“A brief, poetic meditation on "the three essential prayers." The big takeaway are the words themselves, which do seem inclusive and right.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Excellent advice from a writer who seems to really know the human heart.”Susie Casstevens wrote this review 10 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A brief, poetic meditation on "the three essential prayers." The big takeaway are the words themselves, which do seem inclusive and right.”Jessica M wrote this review Tuesday, November 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A really great, quick read!”Musingmiller wrote this review Tuesday, November 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Well expressed short novel of how to pray and the power of prayer.”Susan M wrote this review Saturday, September 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really enjoyed the writing of this new-to-me author, and the book was a short, pleasant read. The author, with her brilliant writing, lays out three simple prayers: Help (a prayer of supplication), Thanks (gratitude) and WOW (which I suppose is praise).
I’m not a big fan of Do-It-Yourself spirituality, of smorgasbord Christianity, OR of organized religion --- but I’m open-minded (I hope) and try to glean the best from all faith traditions. I admit, I'll never be able to refer to God as "she" / "her" or think of Jesus as just another spiritual teacher, as Lamott does. To each her own, I guess.
But I was more than disappointed and frankly shocked, after thoroughly enjoying her exquisite and humorous prose, by a paragraph at the end of the book that felt to me like a big put-down of Christians. Had this statement been presented earlier in the book, I’d never have read it.
“…We pray not really knowing how to pray. Certain Christians, who will happily tell you they have a monopoly on truth, say that Jesus gave us exact instructions of how and what to pray: The Lord’s Prayer. Isn’t that nice? Thank you, Christians. Love that certainty. It must be great to be so sure of yourselves all the time.”
I really felt that one paragraph was so out-of-place, uncalled-for, in extremely poor taste, and contemptible in an otherwise beautifully written little book of three essays on simplicity in prayer. It instantly brought my rating down from 5 to 3 stars. This book has been tagged “Christian,” and even though she gives fabulous quotes from Christians (as well as others) and even from Jesus Himself, I would never place it in the Christian genre. When the Christ is left out of the equation, you can hardly call something Christian, eh?
There are many thought-provoking questions and inspirational insights to be found here, but I would advise Christians to read with discretion.”
“A sweet, gentle, inspiring, funny book about the power of prayer.”Robin L. Finley wrote this review Sunday, August 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a lovely lovely little treasure. I love the way she writes, so expressively, succinctly, and personably, and how she helps us feel all the reasons to be open to life and the spiritual in life. ”Connie D wrote this review Thursday, August 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Great insight into thinking about issues in our life, spiritual thoughts that help bring us to a very refined and basic level of expression. ”Melany wrote this review Monday, July 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The 3 Essencial Prayers. Off the Path Anne Lamott. Would recommend.”crispin wrote this review Thursday, May 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“ Lamott encourages her readers to “not get bogged down on whom or what we pray to.” Rather one should identify prayer as communication from our hearts to “something unimaginably huge and not us.” Her slightly irreverent humor allows one to experience the distillation of anything one says “to the amazing energy of love we are sometimes bold enough to believe in” regardless of the name we attach.
In Help, Thanks, Wow Lamott has identified the content and context of prayer that asks for assistance, that appreciates the good we witness, and that expresses one’s awe at the world. These are the words that get us through the day, and show us the way forward.
Through anecdotes and stories she puts skin on those times one can be in motion, and stillness, and energy – all at the same time. All three prayers are the beginnings of a conversation with God about anything – barely, honestly, bitterly, insanely or brokenly – “probably the best possible conditions under which to pray.”
The simplicity of theses three prayers opens the complexity of our lives, our relationships, and our world into our messiest places and our greatest needs. Like flossing one’s teeth prayer must be repeated until it becomes habit, not because we can get our way, or can change God, but so God can change us, so we can “pray constantly between bouts of trying to live life on life’s terms.”
Whether a beginner or veteran user of the spiritual discipline of prayer, Lamott, once again leads us to breathe, to slow down, to pay attention so no opportunity to love and help God’s children, including learning “to love our depressing, hilarious, mostly decent selves.” Although most of the formative pieces of Lamott’s personality, sense of humor, descent into and ascent from addiction, deep spirituality, and intentional writing are mostly caught in the reader’s peripheral vision.
This is one book I want to take up space on a shelf, because she speaks to my meaning through her meaning formed by words seemingly strung along, but intentionally placed.
Other titles by Anne Lamott: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/)
• Hard Laughter. Viking Press. 1980. ISBN 0-670-36140-2.
• Rosie. Viking Press. 1983. ISBN 0-670-60828-9.
• Joe Jones. North Point Press. 1985. ISBN 0-86547-209-2.
• All New People. North Point Press. 1989. ISBN 0-86547-394-3.
• Crooked Little Heart. Pantheon Books. 1997. ISBN 0-679-43521-2.
• Blue Shoe. Riverhead Books. 2002. ISBN 1-57322-226-7.
• Imperfect Birds. Riverhead Books. 2010. ISBN 1-59448-751-0.
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Anne Lamott
• Operating Instructions: A Journal Of My Son’s First Year. Pantheon Books. 1993. ISBN 0-679-42091-6.
• Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Pantheon Books. 1994. ISBN 0-679-43520-4.
• Traveling Mercies : Some Thoughts on Faith. Pantheon Books. 1999. ISBN 0-679-44240-5.
• Plan B : Further Thoughts on Faith. Riverhead Books. 2005. ISBN 1-57322-299-2.
• Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. Riverhead Books. 2007. ISBN 1-59448-942-4.
• Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son. Riverhead Books. 2012. ISBN 1-59448-841-X
• Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. Riverhead Books. 2012. ISBN 1-59463-129-8.