Favourite Quotes from Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

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My copy of Help, Thanks, Wow no longer has clean pages. I underlined sentences and whole paragraphs, and paused to think. I wrote questions, reflective answers, and people’s names next to certain passages. I know I will read it again.


Which quote is your fave from this list? I can’t choose ONE.

Here are some of my favorite parts . . .

  •  Prayer means that, in some unique way, we believe we’re invited into a relationship with Someone who hears us when we speak … (4).
  • Prayer is taking a chance that against all odds and past history, we are loved and chosen, and do not have to get it together, before we show up [in prayer] (5-6).
  • My three prayers are variations on Help, Thanks, Wow. That’s all I ever need . . . (8)
  • There’s freedom in hitting bottom, in seeing that you won’t be able to save or rescue your daughter, her spouse, his parents, or your career, relief in admitting you’ve reached the place of great unknowing. This is where restoration can begin … (14)
  • If one person is praying for you, buckle up. Things can happen. (19)
  • If we are going to begin practicing the presence of God for the first time today, it would help to begin by admitting the three most terrible truths of our existence: that we are so ruined, and so loved, and in charge of so little (27).
  • [There are} three things I cannot change … the past, the truth, and you (31).
  • Praying “Help” means that we ask Something to 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. We stop the toxic peering and instead turn our eyes to something else . . . In surrender you have won. (40).
  • You say, Thank you for lifting this corner of the curtain so I can see the truth, maybe for just a moment, but in a way that might change my life forever (49).
  • Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behaviour (56).
  • When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and in the past few days, it is hard not to be humbled, and pleased to give back (57).
  • And so I prayed: “Help me not be such an ass.” This is actually the fourth great prayer… (67).
  • I hate this, the fact that life is usually Chutes and Ladders, with no guaranteed gains (97).
  • I cannot will myself into having these qualities [trust, surrender, forgiveness], so I have to pray for them more often, if I want to be happy. I have to create the habit, just as I had to do with daily writing and flossing. (98)

Thanks , Joan, for giving me this signed copy. It is a book I will keep in my library.

Your Turn . . .  If you’ve read this book, what are some of your favourite quotes?

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