Posted in family/marriage, Growing in the Lord, Humor posts

the power of prayer: surviving Papa’s driving

One of the things you’ve likely noticed about my blog is that it truly is random. I blog on a variety of topics and today, I’m taking a trip back to the “olden days”. Back when life was simpler and less stressful, and things moved at a slower pace. Well, everything but my grandpa, Papa’s, car when he drove us to and from church.

I spent a lot of time in prayer during those trips to church.

It was just like any other Sunday. My sister, cousin, and I climbed into the backseat of Papa’s vintage automobile. It was already an antique even in the 80s. Lengthy with four doors, it wasn’t any stretch of the imagination (no pun intended) to be able to fit your entire household into the backseat.

Fortunately, only three young girls needed to sit comfortably on the blue bench seat of the 1964 Ford Galaxy.* There were no seatbelts in Papa’s old car, which made the ride all the more exciting. And the automobile was all the more special to Papa because it had been his mom’s. She’d purchased it new.

In the front seat, Papa rode with his bride, Nanie (my grandma), by his side. All was relatively calm as we drove through town and headed toward the highway. As a former police officer, Papa always intended to obey the speed limit.

It was just that, well, his mind was on other things as he drove, like Nanie, the woman who had captured his heart all those years ago.

Or perhaps chasing down criminals and high speed chases were ingrained in him. And his foot.

My sister, cousin, and I geared up for the upcoming curvy and excessively winding roads through the canyon. For Papa, there was no reason to take corners slowly. After all, the old white car had a sturdy engine and ample power. And to Papa, it was the epitome of a streamlined and aerodynamic race car.

It was in those moments when the front of the car veered around the corner, leaving us girls still around the bend waiting to catch up, that we watched the scenery pass by us at an alarming rate of speed. We were, in trio tandem, sliding from one side then the other as Papa navigated the corners.

Never mind the nausea that threatened an upheaval of Mom’s pancakes we’d eaten for breakfast only minutes before.

Papa slung his arm around Nanie and whistled, alternating his gaze from Nanie on his right to the scenery on his left, and once in a while on the road ahead. His other arm rested on the window frame and simultaneously steered the wheel.

I was grateful for those whistled tunes, as it did help at least temporarily to take my mind off the times he accidentally went too close to the shoulder of the road.

Nanie giggled and hummed a few tunes in sync with Papa’s whistling. And Papa gave her adoring glances as if they’d just met. They shared in pleasant conversation, seeming never to run out of things to say.

The ride lasted forever, and I closed my eyes around some of the sharpest turns. While I hadn’t yet committed my life to Jesus, I knew from previous church attendance with Nanie and Papa that God heard our prayers.

And when God delivered us safely to the church, I knew for certain prayer is powerful and that He does, indeed, hear us.

*The image is for visual purposes only as the pictured car is an Impala, rather than a Galaxy.

Before you go, check out these other posts:

the great prune escapade

10 ways to encourage others

fantabulous pumpkin muffins recipe

book news/giveaways

how to become an undercover prayer warrior

the importance of a good work ethic


Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics. Today Penny is a multi-published author of over a dozen books. She is also a homeschool mom and a group fitness instructor. When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters and camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website,, her blog,, and through her newsletter via

8 thoughts on “the power of prayer: surviving Papa’s driving

  1. I lived in that era of the huge cars – but boy were they comfortable! We always had a station wagon (4 kids!) and it was a fight to see who got in first to get the “window” seat or first in didn’t have to sit in the far back seat looking backwards!

    1. What a fun memory! Yes, that would not have been much fun to sit in the far back looking backwards! I remember wishing my parents would buy a station wagon, lol.

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