1 John 5:14-15 RSV, And this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the request made of him.

      In the summer of 1990 Helen and I were returning home with two exchange students in the car with us.  Mika and Yuko were both from the Soshin Girls High School in Yokohama, Japan.  Mika was living with us and Yuko was living with Roy and Wilma Engle at the time.

     Our car was in need of being washed so we pulled into a car wash; the self-service type where you use a high pressure hose and wand to wash your car. 

     As I pulled the high pressure wand from its sleve Helen asked me to wait.  She said that the two girls wanted to wash the car for us; a new event to remember in their American adventure.

     Before the quarters were dropped into the coin slot we showed the girls how to operate the wand and warned them of the amount of pressure that would be exerted by the device.  Their response was an expression of typical teenager eagerness; impatient to get things going.  We explained again that they needed to ready themselves for the wand’s pressure before pulling the wand’s trigger.

     I dropped a couple of quarters into the device’s slot and turned the selection knob to wash.  The hum of the pump began and Helen and I began backing away.  Yuko, taking her turn first, pointed the washing wand at the car and pulled the trigger on the handle.  We watched as she was forced backwards a couple of small steps and then saw the water climb up the washing bay’s wall towards the ceiling.  As the spray of soapy water began moving across the ceiling she released the trigger and the flow stopped; but not before both girls were damp from the spray that had fallen back towards them.  There was a moment of quiet surprise followed by joyous as they rapidly exchanged words in Japanese.  

     Better understanding the power of the washer wand the two young ladies began taking turns washing the car.  We probably could have saved a couple of quarters had I washed the car myself but it was much more entertaining watching them.

     Despite being told, Mika and Yuko were unprepared for the amount of force that is expelled by a car wash wand.  They had to experience the sudden rush of power to fully appreciate it.

     A number of Bible verses tell us of the power of prayer.  Mark 11:24 tells us that we can pray and believe we will receive.  Romans 8:26 says that the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  And in Psalm 66:19, it says that God attended to David’s prayers.

     The Bible tells of many who prayed and that their prayers were answered.  So why is it that when prayer is answered today so many are surprised?  It is as though many do not believe that their prayers will be answered. 

     Perhaps it is necessary for many of us to personally experience our prayers being answered powerfully.  Like the two young ladies with the car wash wand, we are taken back by the reality of the wonderous force that prayer is. 

     Earlier this year I shared a time when I experienced a power response to a prayer.  I wasn’t prepared for a rapid response from a very brief prayer that I had uttered.  It would seem that God had to prove his power to me as well.

Addendum:   Having mentioned Shoshin Girls High School, Yokohama, Japan, in this story I should share that the school was founded by the wife of an American Baptist missionary during the 1870s.  She thought it unfair that boys were being educated but young women were not.