Anne Lamott definitely stretches the boundaries of Christian writing. For that, we can thank her. Yes, she swears, says honest and unkind things (usually about herself), sometimes refers to God as Phil, and even lets slip a longing for her earlier, non-Christian lifestyle.
In her most recent book, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, Lamott takes her earthly approach to the most holy of acts, prayer. In this short work, she talks about each of the three prayers and ends with some thoughts on "Amen."
She notes at the outset that "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." If other prayer books make you feel wholly inadequate to seek communion with God, Lamott will get you shouting at God without guilt. "God can handle honesty, and prayer begins as an honest conversation."
Of the three prayers, her section on "Help" is the strongest. Although a short book, this could even be shortened more as the multiple of examples for one type of prayer can become tiresome. And Lamott always has a tendency to want to show people how cool she is—she tires too hard, since her unique approach to life is clear. But perhaps she has used "Help" more than other prayers, so her words hit the mark with assurance.
Calling it "the first great prayer," she says in praying for help we find "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."
The theme that runs clearly through all of Lamott's writing, is the power of grace. She does not get why God would forgive her, but she is forgiven, so she accepts it. But grace does not create some sudden understanding of God, or a clear answer to our prayers in the way we want them. "Grace can be the experience of a second wind, when even though what you want is clarity and resolution, what you get is stamina and poignancy and the strength to hang on. Through the most ordinary things ... life is transformed."