If you were to visit our home or walk into my office, you would see the word BELIEVE in pictures and plaques everywhere. BELIEVE is at the very core of my heart. There was a time though, after the death of our 2 month old son, that I didn’t believe anything or anyone; I even questioned my belief in the existence of God Himself. After a very dark season, I began to BELIEVE again but with a greater understanding of God and His love for me, and how I could connect with Him at any time through prayer.

Prayer had always been so confusing to me as a child. I had heard many adults pray with such eloquent and “big” words, and the volume in which they spoke was so boisterous and loud. I believed I had to pray like them in order for God to hear me, and being a quiet child, I believed God wasn’t hearing my prayers.

When I was about 9 years old, my dad asked me to pray during our family devotionals. I was terrified to pray out loud as it wasn’t going to sound like my dad or other adults I had heard pray. My father saw my hesitation and simply said, “Kimberly, praying is just talking with God.” I understood what he said, but it was still intimidating. That began my prayer journey but not in a healthy way. I believe this insecurity and wrong thinking of prayer and God not hearing my prayers added to my doubt of Him years later during one of the most traumatic moments of my life.

As I made the choice to BELIEVE, my heart followed, for you see – choices lead; feelings follow.

Fast forward many years, my husband and I were leading a small group and having a conversation about prayer. Ed made a statement which has stuck with me ever since. “I pray what I BELIEVE and BELIEVE what I pray.” What a straight-forward statement that made such an impact on me. I had a healthy prayer life with God by this time, and his statement helped me realize a fundamental truth that Jesus stated in Matthew 21:22, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (NIV) and the Message paraphrase, “Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.”

Does this mean that you get whatever you ask for? No, not at all. I believe Jesus is talking about relationship here, not our desires. As we spend time with God, read His Word, and talk to Him, we begin to know more about Him, about Jesus, and start to BELIEVE His Word. In my prayer time, I allow the Holy Spirit to correct my wrong thinking and bring it into alignment with His Truth. I have learned more about God, His purposes, and His concerns which helps me pray according to His will.

In the beginning of this journey though, it was really difficult to BELIEVE, to change many years of a wrong mindset about God. But as I made the choice to BELIEVE, my heart followed, for you see – choices lead; feelings follow. It may be difficult to grasp at first because of what you may be going through or what you believe about God, but do it anyway. I promise you that one day you will BELIEVE. And if you have any unbelief, cry out to God as this father did in Mark 9:23-24 NLT

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

Jesus healed this father’s son and I imagine he BELIEVED that day! Jesus didn’t condemn him for his unbelief, nor does he condemn us. He loves us and will help us overcome our unbelief if we just ask. So ask. He is faithful and loves you so much.

BELIEVING may be difficult for you right now, and prayer might be confusing for you as it was for me, but take that first step. If you don’t see answers right away, BELIEVE He’s making a way! If you don’t feel Him close, BELIEVE He is always with you! If you’re waiting on a breakthrough, BELIEVE it’s on its way! BELIEVE He loves you and has a hope and future for you!! As you do, I BELIEVE you’ll begin to see things differently and will BELIEVE in the One who loves you, hears your prayers, and is working all things out for your good and His glory! Trust Him and just…BELIEVE!✨

By Pastor Kim Burnell

Kim Burnell is Assistant Campus Pastor at Love Church Winchester. She’s passionate about God’s Word, people finding life in Jesus, and encouraging others along life’s journey. She’s been married to her high-school sweetheart, Ed, for 38 years. They have 5 children and 8 grandchildren, and love their family time together out at their country home!


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