Given my past work history, I’ve read my share of books on prayer. Theological books, inspirational books, narrative tales, instructional books, short books, long books… think of the Dr. Seuss book I could write about the prayer books I’ve read.
Help Thanks Wow is a really tiny book – 112 pages, according to Amazon. I listened to the audio book and it was less than two disc long. I felt like it was just the introduction.
First off, it must be said that Lamott expresses some pretty wild theology right off the bat in this book. If you’re easily frightened by a pretty wide interpretation of God or the purpose of prayer, you might want to take a Valium. If you’ve read The Shack and your head didn’t explode, this might be your thing.
Second off, is there any person who reads Lamott to brush up on their theology? You read Lamott to find the words that express your soul. You read Lamott because she somehow captures what your heart would say if you put down your cell phone long enough to ponder your heart.
Help Thanks Wow is hardly the definitive work on prayer, but it was not meant to be. This book is a brief glimpse into the heart of prayer and what prayer can be, if you let it. While not meant to be theological, Lamott somehow captures how all prayer can be answered and yet your prayers don’t feel answered. She puts words around the mystery, which is what the best of writing on prayer does.
The book feels a bit like a stream of consciousness in Lamott’s journal about her journey with prayer. It’s insightful, if you let it be.
Personally, I’m looking forward to the sequel – her treatise on the fourth great prayer “make me less of an ass”. That will be very helpful.