Praying for our Military Chaplains as a Hero is Recognized

Prayer Point: Praying for our Chaplains

chaplainKapaun

Chaplain Kapaun (right) helps pull an injured soldier off the battlefield.

Later today President Obama will posthumously award the Medal of Honor to an incredible man of selflessness named Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Joseph Kapaun.    The brave Army Chaplain served in both World War II and Korea. Chaplain Kapaun exemplified what it meant to serve—he served his God, his country and especially his fellow soldiers. In November 1950, Kapaun was taken as a prisoner of war along with hundreds of other soldiers. The Chaplain put himself at great personal risk, but  moved under the cover of night to offer prayer and encouragement to the his fellow POW inmates. He also organized able-bodied soldiers to sneak out of the camp to steal food and firewood at night, saving many of the captives. Before he died in the POW camp, the men he had saved watched Chaplain Kapaun bless and forgive his captors. Mike Dowe, a young Lieutenant at the time, reported that when he began to cry at the Chaplain’s side Kapaun said,  “Hey, Mike, don’t worry about me. I’m going to where I always wanted to go and I’ll say a prayer for all of you.”

We often talk about praying for our soldiers; we even talk about praying for our pastors. Let us not forget that there are men and women out there serving as both. Our military chaplains put themselves in harms way to bring the gospel of peace to men who only see war. They bring hope into areas surrounded by hopelessness, and they bring comfort where there is only fear. Please consider adding our chaplains to your prayer list.  Here is a list of the current commanding chaplains:

Chaplain (Captain) Emil Kapaun

Chaplain (Captain) Emil Kapaun

Executive Director,
Armed Forces Chaplain Board:
Chaplain Colonel Jerry P. Pitts
Army Chief of Chaplains: 
Chaplain Maj. Gen. Donald L. Rutherford
Air Force Chief of Chaplains: 
Chaplain Maj. Gen. Howard Stendahl
Navy Chief of Chaplains:  
Chaplain Rear Admiral Mark Tidd
Marine Corps Chaplain:
Chaplain Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben
Coast Guard Chaplain:
Chaplain Captain Gary P. Weeden

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For those using our weekly devotional, American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot, you may also want to consider A Prayer for America’s Pastors on page 49 and A Call to Workers in the Harvest on page 53 (Also for  Kindle and NOOK).

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Please see the Condition of Use for this blog.
© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2013.
Story Sources: U.S. Army and Fox News
Photo Credit: U.S. Army

American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot

AmericanPsalms_Cover_05272012smLooking for a last minute Christmas present for the patriot, Christian, soldier or veteran in your life? Consider a copy of American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot. Amazon can still deliver the print edition by Christmas Eve and a Kindle edition gift can be delivered to your loved one on Christmas day.

Click here to order via Amazon.

May God Bless this nation during the Christmas season and in the new year.

America’s Weekly Prayer List

In addition to posts on Spiritual Formation, History and Prayer, American Psalms offers this weekly update with relevant Prayer Points, a featured American leader to pray for, and tips on growing in your Christian walk as you pray for America. Please join us in praying for the nation.

Flag on BarnThe Praying Patriot Tip:
Sometimes it’s hard to know how to pray for the United States. It can feel overwhelming. Where do you start? Well, you’re clearly on the right track by coming to this site (a little self promotion never hurt). But aside from the posts at American Psalms, I suggest setting up Prayer Prompts in your mind.

Prayer Prompts are how I remind myself that praying for the nation doesn’t have to be flowery or eloquent; your prayers only need to be sincere. Prayer Prompts are visual reminders to say a quick prayer for our nation in addition to the Weekly Prayer Points on this site. Here are a few examples of Prompts, but I’d love to hear your ideas. Add your Prayer Prompts to the Comments at the end of this post:

-Pray for our troops when you see a military bumper sticker or special license plate.
-Pray for our nation when you see our flag in an unexpected place (like in the photo above)
-Read the newspaper or news-blogs and pray about current events.
-Pray for the President just before he’s about to give a speech (Even if it’s interrupting the Amazing Race).
-Pray for your Congressmen and Senators when you get a mailing or robo-call from them.

I’ll post more in future, but please send your ideas for Patriot Prayer Prompts by entering them below. Now let’s look at this week’s prayer list.

Prayer Points for the Week of April 22-28, 2012:

  • If you’ve not already done so, write out your Declaration of Prayer for America. If you’re not sure how to get started, visit The First Prayer page on this blog.
  • With 6 Secret Service men fired and 5 more under investigation for a prostitution sex scandal in Columbia, pray for Director Mark Sullivan. As the head of the Secret Service, he undoubtedly has some difficult weeks before him. Pray for his wisdom in dealing with the scandal, and the focus to protect our president and elected officials. Because of this importance safety issue, Mark Sullivan is this week’s featured authority. Please see his information below.
  • Pray for a reclaiming of active faith in America. That can seem overwhelming, so if you need an example read, A Prayer for America’s Faith.
  • Pray for the American diplomats dealing with the crisis in Syria. Last week the U.N. Security Council voted to raise the number of peace monitors from 30 to 300 in that country.  This is the last week Susan Rice will be representing America as the president of the U.N. Security Council (a responsibility that rotates among member nations). Pray the United States is well represented in the political world of foreign relations.
  • Remember to pray for our president. Even if you don’t agree with him politically, we are called to pray for those who are in authority. A sample prayer for the President is available here.

Featured Authority:

“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. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4, NIV)

This week’s featured Authority is Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan:

Director Mark SullivanName: Mark Sullivan
Years of Service: 27
Position:
Director of the Secret Service
Duties Include: Head of the Secret Service, Protection of the President and First Family, Protection of other elected officials, Protection of foreign officials, and criminal investigation.
Spouse: Laurie
Children: The Director has three children who will remain unnamed on this site.

You can learn more about the Dircetor and his duties by visiting the Secret Service website. Remember to pray Director Sullivan and his family throughout this week.

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Please see the Condition of Use for this blog.
© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2012.
Flag on Barn Photo Credit: Robert Linder

America’s Weekly Prayer List

In addition to posts on Spiritual Formation, History and Prayer, American Psalms offers this weekly update with relevant Prayer Points, a featured American leader to pray for, and tips on growing in your Christian walk as you pray for America. Please join us in praying for the nation.

The Praying Patriot Tip:
One of the things that used to really bother me about politicians (and there are plenty of them) was when they would use the term, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims.”

Take, for example, the terrible tornadoes that ravaged the Midwest this weekend–this is the type of catastrophe when local and national politicians scramble to use that ever popular phrase. I confess that I had a very negative attitude every time I heard those words. I’d role my eyes and say, “Yeah… I’m sure they’re hitting their knees.” I think we create a defense mechanism when it comes to politicians–we assume they’re not telling the truth.

Then the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and pointed something out to me. First, I don’t know whether or not they’re actually praying, but more importantly, I wasn’t really listening to the phrase I was being so judgmental about. The elected officials always say, “OUR thoughts and prayers…” not, “MY thoughts and prayers”. These authorities are making a promise that we, as a nation, as a community, will pray. So the honesty of the politician’s statement is not based on what he’s doing, but what I do with his promise. We always say we want honest politicians–well here’s our chance to help them. The next time we hear a politician say, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you,” let’s stop whatever we’re doing and pray.

Prayer Points for the Week of April 15-21, 2012:

  • If you’ve not already done so, write out your Declaration of Prayer for America. If you’re not sure how to get started, visit “The First Prayer” posted on this blog.
  • With North Korea’s failed missile launch last week, we are reminded how dangerous a nation can become. Pray for Secretary of State Clinton and the American diplomats who are working to prevent expanded nuclear weapon acquisitions by North Korea and Iran.
  • There were more than 100 reports of tornadoes in five states over the weekend. Pray for the families who’ve lost their homes or need resources to repair the damage.
  • Pray for American Missionaries who are working to spread the Gospel both here and abroad.
  • Remember to pray for our president. Even if you don’t agree with him politically, we are called to pray for those who are in authority. President Obama is this week’s featured authority, but we should be praying for him daily.
  • Continue praying for Susan Rice who is representing America as the president of the U.N. Security Council for the month of April (a responsibility that rotates among member nations). Pray the United States is well represented in the political world of foreign relations.

Featured Authority:

“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. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4, NIV)

This week’s featured Authority is President Barack Obama:

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama - Official Portrait, 2009.

Name: Barack Obama
Birth date: August 4, 1961
Position: President of the United Sates
Duties Include: Head of the Executive Branch in the United States, has the power to sign legislation into law or veto bills from Congress, Diplomacy and treaties with other nations.
Spouse: Michelle Obama
Children: Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.

You can learn more about the President and his duties by visiting the White House website. Remember to pray for President Obama and his family throughout this week. If you’re not sure how to get started, read A Prayer for the President by American Psalms.

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Please see the Condition of Use for this blog.
© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2012.
Praying Hands Photo Credit: Jasper Noer

America’s Weekly Prayer List

In addition to posts on Spiritual Formation, History and Prayer, American Psalms offers this weekly update with relevant Prayer Points, a featured American leader to pray for, and tips on growing in your Christian walk as you pray for America. Please join us in praying for the nation.

The Praying Patriot Tip:
We are called to pray for those in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:1-3), but is praying for the nation enough? I would suggest that God wants us to do more—he wants us to be engaged. Scripture tells us that the way we treat others is a direct reflection of how God feels we’re treating him:

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40)

Yes, we should pray for the nation, but one of those petitions should be for God to change our own hearts. We should be asking him to open our eyes to the needs of those around us; we should be asking God to reveal opportunities for us to serve our community. We should be praying that we become the change we want to see in America.

Prayer Points for the Week of April 08-13, 2012:

  • If you’ve not already done so, write out your Declaration of Prayer for America. If you’re not sure how to get started, visit “The First Prayer” posted on this blog.
  • According to the Congressional Budget Office, the government ran a deficit of $780 Billion in the first half of the fiscal year. That’s how much money was spent without the income to pay for it. We must pray for financial stewardship in America. Remember, “the borrower is the slave of the lender” (Proverbs 22:7 ESV)
  • Nearly 350 homes were destroyed and another 750 damaged when tornadoes swept through the Dallas,Texas area last week. Pray for the families who’ve lost their homes or need resources to repair the damage.
  • A Navy Jet crashed into an apartment complex outside Virginia Beach last Friday. Praise God that there were so few injuries and lift up the families who will need support.
  • Continue praying for Susan Rice who is representing America as the president of the U.N. Security Council for the month of April (a responsibility that rotates among member nations). Pray the United States is well represented in the political world of foreign relations.
  • President Obama signed a law banning Congress from participating in insider trading last week. Pray for continued moral reform in Washington and remember to pray daily for the President and his family.

Featured Authority:

“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. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4, NIV)

This week’s featured Authority is Attorney General Eric H. Holder:

Attorney General Eric Holder

Name: Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Birth date: January 21, 1951
Position: Attorney General
Duties Include: Authority over the Department of Justice, serving as a member of the President’s Cabinet, Advising the President, representing the United States in legal matters, appearing before the Supreme Court.
Spouse: Dr. Sharon Malone
Children: The Attorney General has three sons living at home with him.You can learn more about Attorney General Holder and his duties by visiting the Department of Justice website. Remember to pray for the Mr. Holder and his family throughout this week.

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Please see the Condition of Use for this blog.
© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2012.
Praying Hands Photo Credit: Jasper Noer

America’s Weekly Prayer List

In addition to posts on Spiritual Formation, History and Prayer, American Psalms offers this weekly update with relevant Prayer Points, a featured American leader to pray for, and tips on growing in your Christian walk as you pray for America. Please join us in praying for the nation.

The Praying Patriot Tip:
When praying for our nation, it’s easy to be swayed by politics. There are pundits on both sides of the aisle who make a living causing divides. It is right to have an opinion, but the integrity with which we share those opinions is a testimony to our relationship with God. Scripture warns us about the way we talk, saying:

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. (James 3:9-10, NIV)

Since God has appointed those in authority (Romans 13:1), how can we speak with disrespect toward them? What good is it to pray for the President in the morning then laugh at degrading e-mails about him at work? It’s fine to debate policy, but we must be respectful of our leaders. This week’s action point is to increase the use of prayer while guarding our tongues.

Prayer Points for the Week of April 01-07, 2012:

  • Share your Declaration of Prayer for the nation with someone else. If you’re not sure how to get started, visit “The First Prayer” posted on this blog.
  • During the month of April, Susan Rice will represent America as the president of the U.N. Security Council (a responsibility that rotates among member nations). Pray the United States is well represented in the political world of foreign relations.
  • Yesterday Secretary Clinton pledged $12 million in additional humanitarian aid to the people of Syria. The opposition against the Assad regime has promised civil rights and religious freedom in the country. Pray for the wisdom of our leaders in their relationship with Syria and pray that the Gospel is brought to their people.
  • In the area of health, a report released last week indicated that cases of Autism in America has increased 78% in only ten years—that’s about 1 in 88 American children now being diagnosed.
  • This week marks the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination. Pray for his family and that his love for God is highlighted in the media coverage. Pray also that we’re granted the same courage to stand up for the oppressed.
  • Continue to pray for President Obama and his family. In this election season, the president is traveling even more than usual. Pray for his safety and the safety of those who are traveling with him.

Featured Authority:

“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. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4, NIV)

This week’s featured Authority is Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta:

Secretary Leon Panetta

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

Name: Leon E. Panetta
Birthdate: June 28, 1938
Position: Secretary of Defense
Duties Include: Authority over the Department of Defense, serving as a member of the President’s Cabinet and the National Security Council, Advising the President and developing national defense policy.
Spouse: Sylvia Panetta
Children: Secretary Panetta has three sons and six grandchildren.

You can learn more about Secretary Panetta and his duties by visiting the Department of Defense website. Remember to pray for the secretary and his family throughout this week.

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Please see the Condition of Use for this blog.
© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2012.

Inaugural Weekly Prayer Points

We are dedicated to helping you become a Praying Patriot. In addition to posts on Spiritual Formation, History and Prayer, American Psalms offers this weekly update with relevant Prayer Points, a featured American leader to pray for, and tips on growing in your Christian walk as you pray for America. Join us in praying for the nation.

Prayer Points for the Week of March 25-31, 2012:

  • If you’ve not already done so, take a moment to write your Declaration of Prayer for the nation. If you’re not sure how to get started, visit “The First Prayer” posted on this blog.
  • Pray for President Obama and his family. He faces decisions and adversities we never hear about. Pray for his leadership, wisdom and discernment. May he seek the wisdom of God’s Word above his own with each step he takes.
  • News agencies reported last night that Former Vice President Dick Cheney underwent a heart transplant Saturday. He is perhaps the most polarizing vice president in American history, but whether you consider yourself a liberal, conservative or moderate, let’s recognize his role as a father and grandfather who served our nation. You don’t have to agree with someone to pray for them. In fact, scripture challenges you to do just that.
  • Pray for God’s compassion on the family and friends of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen who was shot and killed by a neighbor patrolling the neighborhood. This story has gripped the nation and caught the attention of the president.
  • Pray for the jobless and the homeless of America throughout the week. The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in three years, currently 8.3%. Pray for continued recovery of the American job market.
  • Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder on Friday. This followed the shooting of Afghan civilians by the U.S.soldier. First, pray for the families of those who were killed in Afghanistan. Pray also for the friends and family of Robert Bales; behind every American tragedy there are real families who are hurting. Finally, ask God to grant wisdom to the American and Afghan diplomats working to keep both our troops and civilians safe after this terrible event.
  • Finally, the Supreme Court takes up the issue of President Obama’s signature healthcare law this week. I know Christians on both sides of this issue, each of them sure God is on their side of the argument. Abraham Lincoln once made the point to a Union soldier that we should be more concerned about whether we’re on God’s side rather than the other way around. Pray for the wisdom of our justices, and that God’s will prevails.

The Praying Patriot Tip:
The difficulty we face in praying for those in authority over us is that we so often disagree with them. It’s important to remember, however, that God expects us to submit to those authorities:

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (Romans 13:1, NIV)

Whether we like it or not, God has a purpose for those he’s placed in leadership. This week, let’s (Yes, I’m talking to myself as well) try to leave our partisanship outside the prayer closet and concentrate on God’s blessings.

The Right Direction:
The law President Obama called for during his State of the Union address banning insider trading by members of Congress passed the Senate last week and is making its way to the president’s desk. Pray for continued moral reformation among the leaders of our nation.

Featured Authority:

“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. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4, NIV)

This week’s featured Authority is Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Official Portrait of Secretary Clinton from http://www.state.gov.

Name: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Birth-date: October 26, 1947
Position: Secretary of State
Duties Include: Conducting negotiations relating to U.S. foreign affairs, Negotiating, interpreting, and terminating treaties and agreements, Administering the Department of State, Ensuring the protection of the U.S. Government to American citizens, property, and interests in foreign countries.
Living Parents: Dorothy Rodham
Spouse: Former President Bill Clinton
Children: Chelsea Clinton

You can learn more about Secretary Clinton and her duties by visiting the State Department website. Remember to pray for the secretary and her family throughout this week.

We’ve not yet decided what to call this weekly feature: Praying Patriot Prayer Points, Prayer Patrol, Weekly Prayer List? We’re stumped! Enter your ideas in the comment field! Thanks!

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Please see the Condition of Use for this blog.
© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2012.