I recently read American Psalms, by Pastor Joshua Masters, and left my five-star review. But the more I thought about the book and the message I received through reading these prayers for our country, our government, and so much more, I knew I had to do more. I have the honor of hosting Pastor Joshua today in an author interview. Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of his book, American Psalms.
More than a devotional, American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot offers a worship-based approach to becoming a Praying Patriot. Filled with Scripture-focused prayer, tips for spiritual formation and tools to fulfill God's command to pray for those in authority over us, this book will renew your heart for the nation that gives personal liberty and the God who gives eternal freedom.
This prayer guide is perfect for your Prayer Ministry, National Day of Prayer gathering, Small Group or Personal devotions.
Steeped in American history with a strong biblical foundation, American Psalms takes the reader on a one-year journey of spiritual growth with weekly prayers for the nation, psalms for special days of prayers, relevant teachings to enhance your perspective and PDF worksheet downloads designed to promote prayer for America's leaders. With prayers spanning subjects from our troops to the presidency, from NASA to the fishing industry, and from the economy to our children's teachers, Masters has covered nearly every aspect of American society with scripture-based prayer while teaching the reader how to regularly pray for our nation without political bias.
Coffee or Tea?
Joshua: I enjoy a good Earl Grey or green tea, but I mostly drink coffee. I must admit that I’m a bit of a coffee snob, though. I grind my own beans and like to make my lattes with an old-school Bialetti Moka Pot.
Cindy: I enjoy tea as well, but I love my coffee. An old-school Bialetti Moka Pot? That sounds fascinating.
Movie or Book?
Joshua: How do you choose between the two? I love them both. Before becoming a pastor, I worked in the film industry, so I have a true love for movies. But I obviously love books. They don’t always mix, though. I think it’s rare for there to be a truly great film adaptation of a book. It happens, but not very often.
Cindy: Wow! Working in the film industry must have been an awesome experience. I agree. I love a good movie. But movies made from books are never as good as the book. It’s impossible to include all the details in so short a time.
Summer or Winter?
Joshua: I grew up in the frozen northeast, so I crave the warmth of summer. I only miss winter at Christmas. If I could have snow for the week of Christmas and then Fall and Summer the rest of the year, that would be great.
Cindy: Sounds good to me, though, I would have to include Spring.
What inspired you to write this book?
Joshua: There’s so much negativity in today’s politics and the church often gets dragged into that negativity. Even when churches talk about praying for the nation, the pleas are often wrapped up in the outcome of a political position rather than seeking God’s will and glory in our country. I always felt regret that I didn’t serve in the military, and this book was a way for me to serve our nation by teaching believers how to pray for our country and its leaders without the politics of our personal bias. My desire was to honor God with prayers that focused on worshipping Him and seeking His will for us as individuals and as a nation.
Cindy: As I read each of these prayers, I felt your desire to honor God. I’m so glad you included a prayer for our Police Officers and Teachers. My oldest son works for our local police department and he is on the streets. Thankfully, he is no longer full-time, but is still on reserve. There is so much danger and so little respect for the very ones who risk their lives so that we can rest peacefully. Though as a mother, I would wake in the middle of the night and pray for my son’s safety as well as the other officers. And my daughter-in-law is an elementary school teacher, so there’s a special place in my heart for them as well.
What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing this book?
Joshua: As I sought a worship and scripture-focused approach to praying for America, God revealed my own biases—how my prayers for our leaders leaned toward those I agreed with. God showed me how I’d been praying for my will in the nation, not His. That’s a difficult discovery, but it’s transformative.
Cindy: I believe we’ve all felt that way, and you are so right. We should pray for everyone, even when we don’t particularly care for a person’s beliefs or actions, but for God to change our hearts as well as theirs. I have found in my own life that it is impossible to have hard feelings toward someone while you are lifting them up (daily) in prayer.
If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
Joshua: The romantic in me would like to spend a year in an isolated cabin by a lake in the woods writing about the voice of God in His creation. I don’t think the experience would match the idyllic fantasy in my head, but it’s nice to dream about. Would there be weekly deliveries of coffee and steak?
Cindy: Sounds like a lovely location for an Inspirational Romance Writer too, lol. And yes, please let there be coffee.
What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
Joshua: Time. I outlined the book in one night, but it took years to write. With a full-time job and ministry duties, it was difficult to find large chunks of dedicated time to seek God about the book and then write. I’ve gotten a little better at that, but it’s a challenge.
Cindy: Time is definitely a challenge for most authors. At least those who aren’t able to write full-time. But then there is the other definition of time after the work is published that is also hard on authors. Here’s a saying that will sum it up.
Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait 2 years to know whether or not it was funny.
What was the highlight of writing this book?
Joshua: The highlight of penning American Psalms was not in the writing itself, but what God taught me about my own heart in the process. He made me examine my own motives and political bias so I could more clearly hear His voice.
Cindy: And that is what makes life with Him so beautiful.
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
Joshua: My prayer is that we, as one body, would lay down our personal politics and seek the revelation of how God wants to transform us—that we would pray for our country and her leaders in a way that glorifies Christ in our lives rather than a political party. God will only transform our nation when we’re willing to let Him transform us.
Cindy: This message is clearly conveyed in your book, and I am joining you in this prayer, Pastor Joshua.
Are you currently working on another project?
Joshua: I have recently completed a manuscript about our spiritual journey with God from abandonment to adoption. It uses the true story of a neglected rescue dog as an illustration for our own need for healing and rescue through Christ. It’s designed to strengthen our faith and encourage the hurting.
Cindy: That sounds wonderful. I absolutely love the idea of using a neglected rescue dog. I look forward to reading.
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
I would love to have readers join me on my website. The site provides a lot of free material and downloads for your spiritual growth and faith, and I’d really enjoy connecting with those who want to reach out. www.joshuajmasters.com
Where can readers purchase your books?
You can find my amazon profile here. https://www.amazon.com/Joshua-J-Masters/e/B008ECUGHS
I have really enjoyed getting to know Pastor Joshua through this interview and I hope you have enjoyed learning more about him as well. Leave a comment or question for Pastor Joshua for a chance to win a kindle copy of American Psalms.
Joshua J. Masters is a pastor, author, and speaker. His book American Psalms was recently a finalist in The Book of the Decade contest from Serious Writer. Josh has been featured on CBN, HIS Radio, and the Light Radio Network. You can read his spiritual advice to writers in his monthly article for the award-winning writers’ website, The Write Conversation. He’s also been published in Refresh Bible Study Magazine and with One Christian Voice. 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 is a contributing author for Feed Your Soul with the Word of God by Lighthouse Bible Studies and is a regular teacher and speaker. Joshua lives with his wife, Gina, and their dog, Franklin the Pup, in South Carolina where Josh serves as a Care Pastor.