Review of Help Thanks Wow

Meet the Author

Anne Lamott is the author of seven novels and five best-selling nonfiction books.  She was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught at the University of California – Davis.  Lamott’s biweekly Salon Magazine “online diary,” Word by Word, was voted The Best of the Web by TIME magazine.

Book Basics

Help Wow Thanks: The Three Essential Prayers is simple, honest, and personal.  Lamott shares her understanding of and experience with prayer at its most basic, suggesting that these three forms of prayer are all she ever needs.   While this very short volume will be read by most in under an hour, it provides encouragement that invites the reader to establish, reestablish, and/or reconsider her or his own prayer life.

So What?

I have read many books on prayer, but none as short or simple as this.  While prayer is an important part of the journey of faith, many find it difficult or are unsure just how to begin.  Praying honest prayers of help, wow, and thanks offers a framework that encourages conversation with the Divine.

  • Do most or all of your prayers fit within the three broad categories of help, wow or thanks?
  • What is one thing you have learned that has empowered you to be more engaged in the practice of prayer?


Anne Lamott.  Help Wow Thanks: The Three Essential Prayers (Riverhead Books, 2012).  ISBN: 9781594631290.


  1. I found the book: Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott to be a wonderful guide to prayer for Newtown, Ct. Here is my blog on what such prayers may look like.

  2. Thanks, Dave. Your comment and blog post are both timely and helpful.

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