Help, Thanks, Wow, Sh#*&

Our community group tried our hand at collective prayer-writing this past week.  It was… interesting!  And really fun, it turns out.  We were missing three folks so we had four groups of three and each group blindly selected one of the following words.  The first three are taken from Anne Lamott’s book on prayer — aptly titled Help, Thanks, Wow — and the fourth word was added by Jason and me (and it should be pronounced a la Senator Clay Davis from The Wire, FYI).

Once we had our words, we took about 10-15 minutes to come up with a prayer for our group formed around our word.  We didn’t give much guidance because we wanted folks to feel free to go anywhere they wanted with their prayers. When we finished we went around and prayed them aloud in reverse order.  I’m posting them here so that our group has a record of it and if anyone else wants to take a look or try something like it with your own group, have at it.


Shit, I haven’t been praying lately.
Shit, I’m not the parent I want to be
Shit, I feel hopeless and apathetic about life in the U.S.
Shit, there are fires everywhere and we’re afraid of being shot at church or the grocery store or our kids at school
Shit, things seem to be getting worse, not better

Lord, do not rebuke us in your anger
or discipline us in your wrath
Have mercy on us, God, for we are faint;
heal us, Lord, for our bones are in agony.
Our souls are in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long? (Psalm 6:1-3)


When we look at nature we see your glory, God.
Biking through the leaves in Sammamish
Explosions of growth and development in our children
The incredible colors of the sunset

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
    let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
    let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. (Psalm 96:11-12)


Give thanks to God for Ze is Good
Under the wings of the mother hen we are warm, sheltered, home.
Like a net, we are woven together, made stronger, not alone, connected by your love.
In these vessels of dust and blood easily broken, but still so thankful to be in them, to move, to sing, to speak.
We are navigating new and sometimes scary waters, and are thankful that all these rivers find their source in you.


A haiku

Mary’s Place children
Political Solutions
Strength for the journey