From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Help, Thanks, Wow: Anne Lamott's Uncommon Book of Prayer

(Author: Bastique)  
While walking the corridors of nursing homes, I often hear residents calling for help.  It never crossed my mind that they are, in essence,
praying until I read these words from Anne Lamott's latest bookIt is all hopeless. Even for a crabby optimist like me, things couldn't be worse.  Everywhere you turn, our lives and marriages and morale and government are falling to pieces…  Help.  Help us walk through this.  Help us come through.  It is the first great prayer.

Yet is it not selfish to "bother" God about our personal needs?  Lamott does not think so.  In a November 2012 interview with NPR, she states that it's "God's job" to offer help – especially to those who lean upon "a power great than themselves" or upon "something in the next concentric circle out whose name is not me."

In Lamott's estimation, the prayerful connection does not end there.  Just as we often forget to thank people for all that they do and are, we forget to thank God for the same.  Lamott's second great prayer therefore goes like this:  Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.  (And if this mantra seems difficult to remember, a simple heartfelt "Thanks!" will suffice...)

Last (and perhaps most) comes "Wow!"  Lamott's version of this exclamation comes in response to the
"sheer beauty of creation."  It is the "prayer of wonder" – wonder at such things as sky, trees, birds, babies, and fjords.

So there you have it:  Help - Thanks - Wow!  Life's holy chant distilled into three profound syllables…


Copyright December 26, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved 

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