A Prayer for our President

As we celebrate Presidents Day, I want to encourage you to be in prayer for our president. There is no denying that the political atmosphere in our country is contentious at best, but Christians are called to pray for our political leaders regardless of our own political views—or theirs. God can change your heart by praying for those who you consider unworthy of prayer. There are ways to pray for leaders you don’t agree with without compromising your beliefs. So regardless of your political views, please join me in praying for our president.



Father God, You are the God of Wisdom and the desire of nations.(1) You are the King of kings and the Lord of lords;(2) it is through your grace alone that our nation has been established.(3) May your name be praised throughout the United States.

You have commanded me to pray for those in authority, saying:

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.(4)

To fulfill your purpose, I lift up the President of the United States in prayer. I ask for your hand of protection to be upon President Trump, his wife, Melania, and their family. Place Your heavenly armies around the White House and our nation.


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Posted in American Psalms: Praying for America, Prayer

Thanksgiving Every Day

The following devotional was shared by Joshua J Masters during the Brookwood Church Celebrate Recovery Thanksgiving celebration, A Reflection of Thanks, on Thanksgiving evening.


Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT)


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This is the 3rd annual Thanksgiving meal hosted by Brookwood Celebrate Recovery and I’m so grateful you’re here.

I’m not usually snarky on Facebook, but not long ago I broke that rule. A friend of mine was ranting about their experience at the airport. The line took forever, their bags got searched, and they got searched. But then they got on their flight and got where they were going.

I said, “So let me get this straight. You took an hour getting through a building where you got in a machine that brought you across the country in just a couple hours—a distance that would have taken months to travel just a little over a hundred years ago? And then you had a relaxing vacation?”

Perspective. The problem is, I’ve whined on my way to a vacation in the airport too.

Make sure you hear this: We are truly blessed when we count our blessings as inconveniences.
How many of us have complained about something that’s actually a blessing in our lives? We’re not always good at being grateful for our blessings. But the truth is, we’re actually called to be thankful for a lot more than our blessings.

In the Bible, Paul described 3 expectations for the life of every Christian—three hallmarks that identify those who follow Christ. Some scholars call these three things “the standing order of the church.” They’re found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT)
That’s it.
Always be Joyful.
Never Stop Praying.
Be Thankful in all circumstances.

That’s God’s will for our lives.
Here’s the problem (especially when it comes to being joyful and thankful), we usually view them as the destination rather than the path.
To put it another way, we look for things to make us joyful rather than living a life of joy and gratitude.
Let’s take a few minutes to explore each of these commands:

1. Always be Joyful. (v. 16)

So do we live joy, or do we look for things to make us joyful?
The logic of this world is that we should pursue things that make us happy, but the Christian life often seems contrary to logic, doesn’t it?
I love riding horses—there’s probably few things in this world that bring me more joy… but that’s the catch. I’m looking for things in this world to bring me joy—when I’m supposed to already possess it.
Perhaps the most difficult word in this verse is “always.” At all times—the word means forever. Are we joyful all the time? I know I’m not. But joy is meant to be the constant and consistent state of believers. How is that possible? It’s possible when Jesus is the center of our lives—truly the center. Because He is the source of joy. It’s a natural byproduct of His power in your life.
Psalm 16:11 (NLT) says:

You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.
This is a difficult truth, but if joy is granted through being in Christ’s presence and allow Him to show me the way of life—what does it mean if I don’t have joy? It means I’m not truly in his presence, or at some level, I’m trying to live life my own way.
Pursuing joy leads to emptiness. But pursuing Christ naturally creates joy.
That leads us to the second command:

2. Never Stop Praying. (v. 17)

If we’re called to be always joyful and joy comes from connecting with Christ, then prayer should be the constant attitude of every Christian.
For most of us reading that verse, the first thing that comes to our mind is, “How is that possible?” I have CrossFit (well, I’ve never said that), but I have work, I have to go grocery shopping. I can’t spend all day praying.
Well, Jesus certainly had dedicated times of prayer (and we should too), but even when he was traveling, or teaching, or eating—he was never disconnected from the Father. So even when we’re working, doing errands, or even playing—we should still enjoy an ongoing communion and relationship with Jesus.
Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV) says:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
That’s only possible when we’re communicating with God in an ongoing way throughout the day—about everything.
Consider Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT):
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
This verse says that continual prayer leads to peace and thanksgiving—a peace that is beyond human understanding. And that’s exactly the point. Having continual joy and being in a state of never-ending prayer seems inconceivable from a human standpoint, but this Thanksgiving God wants to offer us something beyond the possible. He wants us to have a peace and a joy that is only available through Him—peace and joy beyond our understanding.
And when we have that kind of peace, we will find Thanksgiving in everything around us—because we’ll see God working through it.
That leads us to the third expectation in verse 18:

3. Be Thankful in all circumstances. (v. 18)

Think about this—why is Thanksgiving necessary? Why do we have this holiday? It’s because we’re not naturally thankful. If we were, we wouldn’t need a day to remind us to be thankful.
What if we decided for the next year that EVERY day was Thanksgiving?
I mean, you can’t eat pumpkin pie every day, but the thankful part—what if we lived that every day? Because the key to this verse is the phrase “in all circumstances.”
The question we usually ask one another on Thanksgiving is, “What do you HAVE to be thankful for?” The answer is everything. Every circumstance can bring gratitude because we believe what God says in Romans 8:28 (NLT):

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

We look at difficult circumstances through the lens of having read the end of the story and knowing who wrote it.
It is possible to be thankful in all circumstances.
Most of you know Anne Frank was a Jewish teenager who hid in a secret room for 2 years—her family and friends were being hunted by the Nazis. They couldn’t even move around in the room during the day for fear of being caught. Yet she wrote this:

“I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains”
–Anne Frank
Thankfulness in all circumstances. Anne Frank was less than 15 years old when she wrote that. I don’t think we give teenagers enough credit for what they can teach us.
So I asked the students at the Landing (which is our Celebrate Recovery program for grades 7-12) to help me with this devotional. I asked them 5 questions about gratitude and thanksgiving. As we look at their answers, take a few moments to consider how you’ll answer these five questions this Thanksgiving.


Look carefully at Psalm 28:7 (NLT):
The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
When we truly embrace the concept that trusting God with all our hearts leads to our hearts being filled with joy—that His strength will make us burst out in songs of thanksgiving—then we’ll have Thanksgiving every day.


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Posted in Prayer, Spiritual Growth

A Prayer for Independence Day


Mighty God,1
You are to be desired by all nations,2 yet chose to make America great. With celebration for our nation’s birth, I come before You with thanksgiving for the freedom bestowed on me each day anew. Praise be to the Lord who granted and preserves our independence! From our earliest days, You have made us a nation of strength and compassion because we sought your favor. John Adams was right when he wrote of Independence Day, saying: “It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

Have we forgotten that you are our deliverer, refuge, and fortress?3 It is You alone, our Creator, who endows us with the right to the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness our Declaration of Independence speaks of. True freedom is not granted by a piece of paper, but through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Savior:


It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 NIV)


Let us be forever watchful of our hearts, that we may not blindly fall into the slavery of sin and pride. Instead, let the skies above our land be a reminder of your hand in creation.4 Let their beauty direct us, with thankful spirits, toward Your will in America. Let us embrace the words spoken by Samuel Adams as the Declaration of Independence was being signed:


“We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”


On this Independence Day, we do not celebrate our own accomplishments, but Yours through us. May you receive the glory for America’s greatness, and may we be faithful stewards of Your gospel to the nations.



1. Isaiah 9:6
2. Haggai 2:7
3. Psalm 18:2
4. Psalm 19:1-4

A #Prayer for #IndependenceDay via @JoshuaJMasters | American Psalms |
©2017 Joshua J. Masters and Kingdom Knight Productions. All rights reserved. This prayer is from the book, American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot by Joshua J Masters. With the exception of posting the link to this page, it may not be reposted or distributed in any way without written permission of the author. See the condition of use for this blog for additional information.
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Posted in American Psalms: Praying for America, Prayer

The Two Question Prayer: When You Don’t Know How to Pray

<VIDEO: The Two Question Prayer by Joshua J Masters>

What should you pray when you don’t know what to say anymore? What do you do when you feel like you’re out of prayers? As a pastor, I’ve had a lot of people tell me they’re tired of praying.They’ve asked God to change their circumstance, fix their relationships, or transform their lives—but they still don’t feel connected to God.

I’ve experienced that same drought of divine intimacy myself, and it’s often because I’m focused on an outcome rather than my relationship with God. During those times, I’d obviously tell you I desire a closeness with God. But in reality, my heart and actions would reveal a secret hypocrisy. Is it possible that we feel disconnected from God—that He’s not answering our prayer because we’re asking the wrong questions?

What if we changed the focus of our prayers from us to Him? What if we simply asked God two questions: (more…)

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Posted in Prayer, Spiritual Growth

A Prayer for Memorial Day

Comforter and Councilor,1

We turn to you in our time of grief; our help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.2 Since the Civil War, we have set aside a day for remembrance, and our hearts are broken for the men and women who have been lost while serving our country.

Neither national liberty nor eternal freedom comes without a price. You paid for our eternal salvation with your own son,3 and you feel the suffering4 of parents who’ve lost their children defending America’s freedom. You have heard the cries of spouses, children, siblings and friends. You have collected their tears5 and will be their comfort: (more…)

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Posted in American Psalms: Praying for America, Prayer

How to Start Praying for America


<VIDEO: A Prayer for America by Joshua J Masters>

Today is the National Day of Prayer, but with all the negativity swirling around the politics of our country, many aren’t even sure how to get started.  The first step in praying for the nation is committing to do so. I’ve often pondered how important it is to pray for America, but I wasn’t actually doing it. I had a ton of ideas on how others should be praying, but planning a prayer life for someone else is as effective as calling football plays from your couch. Decide you’re going to get off the spiritual bench and do something yourself.

The most important element in developing a spiritual discipline is making a commitment to the process of letting God change you. Once you’ve made that commitment, you want to be sure you remain accountable. Make a covenant with God to pray for the nation, then ask other Christians or your small group to keep you accountable. Here are a few things to keep in mind when praying for America: (more…)

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Posted in American Psalms: Praying for America, Prayer

Joshua J. Masters is a pastor, author (American Psalms), and speaker. He has been featured on CBN, HIS Radio, and the Light Radio Network.  As a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), Josh has also worked both in front of and behind the camera in the film industry.  He lives with his wife, Gina, and their dog, Franklin, in South Carolina where Josh serves as a care pastor.



© 2018 Joshua J. Masters and Kingdom Knight Productions. All rights Reserved.

© 2018 Joshua J. Masters & Kingdom Knight Productions. All rights Reserved.