During August at St. Mark’s UMC in Tucson, we were treated to a sermon series that took its title from a book by Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. I had read the book a few years ago (it came out in 2012) and this series reminded me of how my prayer life really does come down to these three essentials. I often ask for help when something is troubling me, or I just don’t know what to do. Or I say, please help my friend or family member who is going through a rough time. There are so many things to be thankful for. Thanks for the people who love me. Thanks for the food I have each day. Thanks for the home I share with my husband. Thanks for my children and grandchildren. And Wow, the sunsets have been absolutely magnificent this season. And Wow, the mountains near my home have shown more green growth from the monsoon rains than I have seen in the past.
Prayer is defined by Wikipedia as an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity or a deified ancestor.
I used to worry about whether or not I was praying “correctly”, but now I think prayer is any communication with God. It is an ongoing conversation throughout the day as well as the blessing over the food at meals (which often at our house is after the meal instead of before – I don’t know why, it just is!), and the nightly review of the past day. Leading the prayer “out loud” is not easy for me, but my feeling is that God knows what I am trying to say, and that is what is important about any prayer.
I thank God for the people of the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church and ask for God’s help as we grow together as the people of God and Wow the people of the world.