Praying with Matthew: 365 Days of Gospel-Shaped Devotions brings together our quests for God's guidance through both Scripture and prayer and will inspire readers to develop their own practice of Gospel-shaped prayer.
The Gospels bear witness to Jesus' earliest followers' remembrances of and the early Christians' understanding of his life, ministry, death, resurrection, and teachings. One original purpose of the Gospels was to guide Christians as they followed Jesus in their own lives, and we still read the Gospels and pray for such guidance.
Michael L. Ruffin is the Connections curriculum editor with Smyth & Helwys Publishing, an adjunct professor at Mercer University, a newspaper columnist, and a poet. He posts opinion pieces on the blog On the Jericho Road and poems on Instagram (@michaell.ruffin). A former pastor, he still preaches when and where he's invited. He and his wife, Debra, have two children and two grandchildren.
Praise for Praying with Matthew
"All too often we read quickly through Bible passages and skip over the ones we find hard to understand, as if it were a game of Chutes and Ladders. Michael L. Ruffin helps us to slow down our reading as he takes us through the life of Jesus as told by Matthew. It is a spiritually uplifting experience to read a verse or a couple of verses, to read them again, and then to be led in prayer over what we have just read. This book creatively opens a refeshing way to devote ourselves to prayer as we stroll, as it were, through a Gospel hand-in-hand with Jesus." -David E. Garland, Professor of Christian Scriptures, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University
"Can a few minutes in prayer and Scripture make a difference? Mike Ruffin answers that question by praying through the Gospel of Matthew, one snippet of Scripture after another. With his insightful companionship, we see Scripture with fresh eyes. In a few words of prayer, we question our ways and look toward the ways God worked long ago. Set a practice to begin the day in this way and see how God is still at work bringing transformation and new life." -Cyndi McDonald, Barnesville First United Methodist Church, Barnesville, Georgia