MIDLOTHIAN — Midlothian community members and leaders are gathering together in prayer for their city, each other and the nation.

Mayor Bill Houston began hosting community prayer gatherings at the community room at the Citizens National Bank of Texas in Midlothian after attending Red Oak Mayor Rob Frankie’s quarterly prayer breakfast.

“After meeting with Mayor Frankie, who is a close friend of mine, I expressed to Alastair (Howie, community chaplain) and Marilyn (Jones) that I would like to do the same. We gather weekly with the community leaders and anyone who wants to come to pray for the needs,” Houston said. “Normally we pray for our schools, police, firefighters, the city, our government, the needs of the community and any specific requests that someone may have.”

The Community Prayer Gatherings are held from 7-8 a.m. Tuesdays, the community room is located at the back of Citizens National Bank of Texas, 310 N. 9th St.

“We were going to call it the ‘Mayor’s Prayer Gathering,’ but it’s about exalting God, not me or politics. So we decided to name it the ‘Community Prayer Gathering,” Houston said. “It’s all about having a time for the leaders and community members to join together in prayer.”

Houston hopes that through these prayer gatherings, not only can prayers be lifted up for needs of the city and its people, but personal relationships can be formed and strengthened.

“It creates a spiritual bond and togetherness to strengthen our personal relationships with each other,” he said. “It’s about promoting unity, integrity and honesty.”

There is no sign up list or roster for the gatherings, community members show up as they are available and no one is prevented from joining the prayer gathering.

“Normally we have about 25-30 or sometimes just 8-10, but we’re not worried about the numbers,” Houston said. “God directs who he wants to come, and we just have an awesome prayer time. We don’t talk about churches or denominations, it’s just about praying to God.”

The response has been positive and many in the community have thanked Houston for starting these gatherings.

“It’s been fantastic, we’ve had a lot of people come out and say positive things about it,” he said. “Even people who have never been tell me they think it’s a great thing to do.”

Houston plans to begin a quarterly mayor’s breakfast in addition to continuing the prayer gatherings weekly.

“Once a quarter, starting at the end of January I want to start a prayer breakfast and invite specific people, like our county and other city leaders, to pray over specific things,” he said. “I think it would be good to have a lot of different people gather in prayer for their communities and the county.”

The next Community Prayer Gathering will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Anyone interested in joining the prayer gatherings can email Marilyn Jones at publicrelations@elliscountyspca.org.

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