She writes, “Prayer is talking to something or anything with which we seek union.” And whether you believe in the Christian God, or Allah, or Buddha, or Earth Mother, or some other Great Being, simple variations of these prayers cover just about every situation.
It’s hard to describe the writing in this book. It is almost a stream-of-consciousness style – thoughts and insights as well as practical advice about how we can communicate with a higher power, and why it can make us a better person to do it.
Lamott is not preachy, nor does she write exclusively for one religion over another. She doesn’t give steps to follow in order to pray the “right” prayer. Through her examples you realize she is advocating that anything goes as long as the feelings or words come from your heart.
Some thoughts from the author
Praying “Help” means that we ask that Something give us the courage to stop in our tracks right where we are, and turn our fixation away from the Gordian knot of our problems. (p. 40)
“Thanks” can be the recognition that you have been blessed mildly, or with a feeling as intense as despair at the miracle of having been spared. (p. 46)
When we are stunned to the place beyond words, when an aspect of life takes us away from being able to chip away at something until it’s down to a manageable size and then to file it nicely away, when all we can say in response is “Wow,” that’s a prayer. (p. 73)
This is a short book, easily read in one sitting. But I think you’ll find that it is better to take it in small sips. There’s a lot to absorb in these pages. I’d recommend this for discussion with a book group.
Check the WRL catalog for Help, Thanks, Wow