The Lord has spoken throughout the ages about the importance of prayer, which he has used his word to reiterate. In fact, there are at least 129 verses in the Bible on the topic of prayer alone. They instruct us how to pray, what to pray and what happens when we pray. As I sat listening to the prayers being offered by community leaders during the National Day of Prayer Celebration on Thursday, I was reminded of one of those scriptures.

Matthew 18:20 reads, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” There were more than two people gathered on the lawn of the Ellis County Courthouse, and I know God was in the midst of us.

I know he was there listening to our pleas for help in every aspect of our lives. I know he was there listening when Ellis County District Judge Joe Grubbs asked him to lead and guide those who operate in government. I know he was listening when Wess Winn, crime prevention and community service officer for the Waxahachie Police Department, enlisted his help to keep our law enforcement officers and military personnel safe.

I know he was listening when Pastor Justin Barker of El Bethel Missionary Baptist Church asked him to continue to allow the church to be the rock that the “gates of hell could not prevail against.” I know he was listening when President of Texas Baptist Home for Children Eddie Marsh asked him to make the family unit stronger in these difficult days. I know he was listening when David Smith, owner of Glenn's Carpet stood in the gap on behalf of local, state and national businesses.

I know he was listening when Waxahachie Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Glenn asked him to make a way for students to be allowed to pray in schools again. I know he was listening when I asked him to help us in the media to present the truth without prejudice, personal judgment or error. And how do I know that God was listening when we sought him on behalf of all of these needs? His word says he listens.

When Solomon was king of Israel, it was his desire to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed after the children of Israel had been taken into captivity. As he was preparing for the dedication of the temple, God spoke awesome words to him. Those words can be found in 2 Chronicles 7:14-15: “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”

God not only heard the prayers of his people being lifted today, but he is ready and willing to answer them. All we have to do is humble ourselves, turn away from our sin and pray. That is what happens when we pray.