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It is with this sentiment that New York Times bestselling author Anne Lamott begins her exploration of prayer. With her trademark gritty honesty, Lamott shares what she's learned in her prayer journey, from the first time she prayed secretly as a child so her atheist parents wouldn't find out, to her prayers for when life doesn't make sense, like when a friend has cancer.
Lamott's stark reflections on prayer and life are almost too honest, and they're not for everyone, (she often uses strong language and writes for a broad, i.e. non-Christian audience) but in her brusqueness one also finds a clear reflection of grace. It is the grace that comes from a practiced and open dialogue with the God of the universe, who despite our shortfalls and earthy ties, listens and hears our concerns and praises, at any time we wish to utter them.
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: 2012
Author Anne Lamott writes about the three simple prayers essential to coming through tough times, difficult days and the hardships of daily life.
Readers of all ages have followed and cherished Anne Lamotts funny and perceptive writing about her own faith through decades of trial and error. And in her new book, Help, Thanks, Wow, she has coalesced everything she knows about prayer to these fundamentals.
It is these three prayers asking for assistance from a higher power, appreciating what we have that is good, and feeling awe at the world around us that can get us through the day and can show us the way forward. In Help, Thanks, Wow, Lamott recounts how she came to these insights, explains what they mean to her and how they have helped, and explores how others have embraced these same ideas.
Insightful and honest as only Anne Lamott can be, Help, Thanks, Wow is the everyday faith book that new Lamott readers will love and longtime Lamott fans will treasure.
From the Hardcover edition.
“Filled with Lamott's unique brand of humor, wisdom and profound spiritual insight… She has a gift for putting into words what it means to accept and ultimately embrace the beauty, mystery, and pain that is life.”
—San Antonio Express-News
“Practical and poetic advice on prayer.”
“An imaginative do-it-yourself approach to spirituality…With a stand-up comic’s snap and pop, candid and righteous Lamott tells hilarious and wrenching tales about various predicaments that have sparked her prayers and inspired her to encourage others to pray anytime, anywhere, and any way.”
“[A] prayer manual for people who wouldn’t be caught dead reading prayer manuals… anybody who gets it as a holiday gift will likely just say, ‘Thanks. Wow.’”
“A refreshingly simple approach to spiritual practice in a pint-sized reflection on prayer…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…there’s more here than meets the eye.”
“[With Lamott’s] usual fluency and charm…A worthy successor to her prior works…[Help, Thanks, Wow] will delight Lamott’s regular readers, and likely draw new readers to her writing.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
JorjaDMarietta GAAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Help. Thanks. Wow. Amen.May 9, 2013JorjaDMarietta GAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Lamott 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/)
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Hard Laughter. Viking Press. 1980. ISBN 0-670-36140-2.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Rosie. Viking Press. 1983. ISBN 0-670-60828-9.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Joe Jones. North Point Press. 1985. ISBN 0-86547-209-2.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ All New People. North Point Press. 1989. ISBN 0-86547-394-3.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Crooked Little Heart. Pantheon Books. 1997. ISBN 0-679-43521-2.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Blue Shoe. Riverhead Books. 2002. ISBN 1-57322-226-7.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Imperfect Birds. Riverhead Books. 2010. ISBN 1-59448-751-0.
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Anne Lamott
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Operating Instructions: A Journal Of My Son's First Year. Pantheon Books. 1993. ISBN 0-679-42091-6.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Pantheon Books. 1994. ISBN 0-679-43520-4.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Traveling Mercies : Some Thoughts on Faith. Pantheon Books. 1999. ISBN 0-679-44240-5.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Plan B : Further Thoughts on Faith. Riverhead Books. 2005. ISBN 1-57322-299-2.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. Riverhead Books. 2007. ISBN 1-59448-942-4.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son. Riverhead Books. 2012. ISBN 1-59448-841-X
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. Riverhead Books. 2012. ISBN 1-59463-129-8.