Candace Cameron Bure's Amazing Prayer Proclamation That We ALL Need Right Now

God gives us the free will to decide for ourselves how we want to live, what we want to say and how we choose to interact with the people and things around us.

But free will often comes at a cost. Along with the ability to live and behave as we choose, God has also fortunately given us a blueprint to discern His plan for our lives. This roadmap is the Bible — a timeless book that explains the ins and outs of how human beings are meant to live.

Listen to Billy break down how we get back on track with God:

Some of us choose to follow this “GPS” to the best of our abilities, while others opt to ignore it. The latter carries with it some potential pitfalls, as a life off path from God’s guidance and plan is a life not lived in accordance with the very force that Created and sustains us.

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Proverbs 20:24 summarizes this phenomenon with a stirring rhetorical question: “A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?”

Pondering that question is essential. How can we understand “our own way?” Why would we want to embark on a windy path without a baseline?

Unfortunately, life is complicated and many of us, at some point or another, get stuck in the weeds — but the wonderful reality is that there’s always a way back.

Perhaps you’re struggling right now. Maybe you’re realizing that you’re nowhere near where you want to be in your relationship with God. Your path has potentially taken you away from His will, and you’ve found yourself meandering and flailing as you try to do it all on your own.

Stop. Pray — and crack open your Bible. Again, there is always a way back.

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Actress Candace Cameron Bure once told me something about prayer that I believe is essential to revisit. We were discussing those who mock prayer in the wake of tragedy — people who prefer action to invoking God. Here’s what she had to say in response:

“If you don’t start with [prayer] there’s no power behind it, because God’s the power. God can do anything, change anything — change hearts. It’s the heart of all of us that need to be changed and that’s where God needs to get in.”

You can listen to her remarks below:

So, if you’re feeling lost, don’t rely on your own heart; look to God. Prayer matters and it can recenter us and bring us back to the place God wants us to be. It’s a daily struggle, but it’s one we can win with God on our side.

Proverbs 20 also offers up some other powerful reminders about not letting vices control us. Verse 1 reads, “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise” and Verse 5 adds, “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”

Let’s all find our purpose in God.

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Why Your ‘Desire’ Alone Can Lead to Chaos

Each of us is filled with “desire.” This is a natural human reaction to the world around us; it fuels our goals, aspirations and wants. But the Bible makes it pretty clear that unrestrained desire — desire not based on Christ — is fruitless.

Listen to Billy break this all down:

Proverbs 19:2 proclaims, “Desire without knowledge is not good—how much more will hasty feet miss the way!” Most of us are deeply motivated to reach our goals and aspirations, but too often we forget to seek God’s path for our lives.

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Rather than ask for guidance, we plow through the chaos of life on our own in hopes of reaching our final destination. Unfortunately, too often we’re unsure whether this fixed and final point is where God actually wants us to end up.

So, how can we live with a bit more certainty?

Basically, it all comes down to knowledge and wisdom, which should be rooted in a baseline (i.e. God). When it’s not, the potential for chaos rages.

We can find success here on Earth, but what’s the point in indulging in temporary bliss that isn’t part of the plan for our most fulfilled and God-driven lives?

Solomon affirms this sentiment when he writes the following in Proverbs 19:8: “The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.” So, while many of us are motivated to reach our desires, we also must run our races well, in God’s timing and on the right and proper track.

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Translation: our plans are fruitless without the right guidance.

Proverbs 19:21 tells us, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” It all begins with seeking God’s plan for our lives and then operating from there.

I am too often guilty of implementing my own plans and then attempting to pull God in at some point when it’s most convenient for me. Spoiler alert: this is unwise.

The Bible proclaims, “The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” Part of this process involves listening to God, though there are also benefits to taking advice and guidance from those God has placed in our lives.

Verse 20 tells us, “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”

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Proverbs 19 carries other lessons as well, including the importance of hard work, helping the poor and those in need — and disciplining children. Just as God expects us to follow His lead, we’re also called to guide our kids on the right path.

“Discipline your children, for in that there is hope,” verse 18 reads. “Do not be a willing party to their death.” Discipline is how we teach our kids to have the right desire, and how to discover the most important wealth of knowledge within the gospel.

For more encouragement, be sure to follow and subscribe to The Billy Hallowell Podcast as well as the Pure Flix Insider blog.

Are You Stumbling & Struggling? Here's the Antidote

The Bible repeatedly tells us where our identity should be placed — and that’s in God.

But we live in a world where living that out can be quite difficult, especially in a culture that’s filled with temptation and distraction.

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Unfortunately, life has a way of “getting” us. Many times we are well intentioned; we set out with our focus on God, but after just a few days the “shiny” things all around us start to divert our attention — and slowly lead us away from the “best” path onto a meandering street.

We start to stumble. We start to compare ourselves to others. We start to allow jealousy or discouragement to take form. We start living in “the world” and forget that this life is temporary — and that real success has little to do with money, praise and riches.

Can you relate? Sometimes I get so caught up in the chaos of life — work, tasks, commitments, goals, dreams — that I forget the one thing that truly matters most: my relationship with Christ.

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I know only God holds the answers, yet I allow myself get consumed by my own whims and the here and now. Instead of asking God where He wants me and taking the steps to embark on His journey for my life, I attempt to chisel through the tough complexities of life on my own.

This too often leads to frustration, problems and minor annoyances; something just feels off when faith and reliance aren’t in check. Then, when I get back on track and read my Bible and pray regularly again I feel great — until the next shiny thing distracts me.

We all need spiritual consistency, but how do we build a biblical worldview amid a sea of chaos? We can start by reading the Bible daily, engaging in prayer every morning and throughout the day — and taking steps to love God and love others in practice.

“The Bible tells us that God comes close to us when we draw nearer to Him — a simple concept that applies to any and all relationships,” I wrote in a recent piece for PureFlix.com. “James 4:8 (NIV) reads: ‘Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.’”

Let’s all take steps to be closer to the Lord today. Here are some other scriptures to reflect on:

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” - Matthew 16:25-26 (NIV)

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” - 1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” - Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

The One Thing You Read Today That Might Leave You Feeling Convicted

No one wants to be seen as a fool, yet it’s quite likely that each of us act (or have behaved) — sometimes routinely — in a pretty foolish manner. After all, we're all sinners who are absolutely and unequivocally unable to attain perfection here on Earth.

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So, what are the markers of foolishness, you ask? Solomon dove right into the symptoms, writing in Proverbs 18:2 that a fool takes no interest in understanding — and merely wants to hear his or her own voice. Ring a bell for anyone? I know I've been pretty guilty of it...

In the age of social media rants, TV news battles and selfie obsession, Solomon’s pointed proclamation is pretty convicting: “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.” - Proverbs‬ ‭18:2‬ ‭(NIV‬‬)

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Everyone knows at least one “big mouth” — and the term “loose lips sink ships” has become part of our vernacular, but it seems the problem of the tongue isn’t anything new, as Solomon warned about this foolishness well before Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were on the scene.

In Proverbs 18:6, he wrote, “The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating,” continuing with the following in verse 7: “The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives.”

Solomon’s concern also centered on the importance of listening before answering, proclaiming that uttering responses before having the proper details is “folly and shame” (Proverbs 18:13).

The steady stream of Solomon’s perspective on wisdom and foolishness can be summarized in verse 15, which focuses on the importance of looking for knowledge — something that is done by discerning and wise individuals. He writes, "The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out." 

In the end, a lot of us like to hear ourselves talk more than we like to listen. And even when we seem to be sitting patiently and waiting our turn while someone else talks, we're many times really just quietly formulating what we plan to say in our heads.

Listening has become a lost art in our culture, which is why we see so much splintering and ideological chaos. We need to be better.

Proverbs 18 carries with it a lesson that is found in other parts of the Bible as well: what comes out of the mouth impacts the heart, body and soul: “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” - Proverbs‬ ‭18:21‬ ‭(NIV‬‬)

We should be lovers of truth and goodness — and our words (and deeds) should reflect that reality.

Feelings Can Be Deceiving

It’s no secret that change is afoot in our culture, with increased secularization ushering in confusion, uncertainty and moral chaos.

There’s a general sense in the world that whatever works for a person or feels good should be the path worth exploring and embracing. 

On the surface, such a worldview sounds right, good and personally fruitful — but the Bible warns us that there’s a major difference between the world’s standards and God’s. Sometimes, something seems right and decent, but reality might paint a very different picture.

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This, of course, is hardly a new paradigm. Solomon dealt with this deceptive dynamic nearly 3,000 years ago when he wrote Proverbs 14:12, which reads: “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”

Plainly stated: Feelings can deceive us. And that's a fact. The best way to check ourselves is to take our feelings, whims and struggles to God (in prayer).

We no doubt live in a culture that tends to shun Truth, or to, at the least, scoff at it. Solomon also addresses this dynamic, writing in Proverbs 14:9 that “fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.”

In the end, it’s up to us to take our concerns to God and to be discerning about the circumstances we find ourselves in. This can be difficult in today’s culture, which is why daily Bible reading and prayer are essential to keeping us in touch with God’s will for our lives.

Being discerning is simple; I just takes some effort on our part. Seeking knowledge is key: “The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.” (Proverbs 14:6). Verse 15 goes on to reaffirm this message, telling us that "the simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps."

Are you giving thoughts to your steps forward today? Pause, pray and ask God for guidance.

Be sure to also check out my quick devotions and reflections on Proverbs 1Proverbs 2Proverbs 3Proverbs 4Proverbs 5Proverbs 6Proverbs 7Proverbs 8Proverbs 9Proverbs 10Proverbs 11Proverbs 12Proverbs 13Proverbs 14 and Proverbs 15And...curious about what all this means? Looking to better understand who God is? Take the next step.

Navigating (and Surviving) the 'Upsidedown'

In an upsidedown culture, positive and enriching behavior is too often ignored or rejected.

Just look at the rise and prevalence of reality TV — an entertainment genre that is many times characterized by a lack of self-control, bizarre behavior and negative commentary.

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While it's encouraging to see more positive options in entertainment, the reality is that much of what's on TV and in theaters is increasingly getting darker. And everything — from our everyday interactions to our politics — has been impacted by the madness.

What's most striking about Proverbs 15 are the parallels between the warnings and guidance Solomon gives and the current state of our entertainment, particularly reality-based television.

Proverbs 15 opens with a proclamation: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

This is common sense, but many of the TV shows that dominate popular networks thrive off of negative behavior, anger, fighting, booze-infused rage and a plethora of related behaviors.

We reward insane statements and actions in entertainment...and then wonder why they are increasingly manifesting themselves in the real world. The reality is: we're not meant to behave or speak that way.

Don't believe me? Solomon sprinkles in some other related advice that's worth exploring:

A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. - Proverbs 15:18 (NIV)

The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. - Proverbs 15:28 (NIV)

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. - Proverbs 15:4 (NIV)

The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright. - Proverbs 15:7

Reading and reflecting on these verses is essential, especially for a culture that is increasingly hostile, divisive, chaotic and disconnected.

People will debate how much impact our entertainment has had on our civility, but the reality is: much of what is being presented is either encouraging, praising — or at least representing — unrestrained behaviors that run in opposition to goodness.

As we encourage people to act foolish and to serve themselves — all for our entertainment's sake — we forget that Solomon offers up a dire warning in Proverbs 15:10: "Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die."

In the end, wisdom should be our goal — not rage, not unrestrained behavior, not setting our own standards. And wisdom can only come from one place: the Lord. Everything we take in and everything we consume has an impact, not only on us, but on our culture at large.

But even if we argue that we're mature adults who aren't really colored by what we're watching or listening to and that we're merely enjoying ourselves by consuming this content, there's a convicting question worth asking: Should we really take joy from others' poor behaviors?

We can't control what Hollywood chooses to put out there, but we can manage what we're willing to let into our minds and hearts. Just some food for thought.

I'll leave you with this (Proverbs 15:33 - NIV): "Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor."

P.S.: I'm not perfect, I don't always watch what I should — and this is a struggle for me too.

Be sure to also check out my quick devotions and reflections on Proverbs 1Proverbs 2Proverbs 3Proverbs 4Proverbs 5Proverbs 6Proverbs 7Proverbs 8Proverbs 9Proverbs 10Proverbs 11Proverbs 12Proverbs 13 and Proverbs 14And...curious about what all this means? Looking to better understand who God is? Take the next step.