National Day of Prayer: East Texans pray for homeless, military, - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

National Day of Prayer: East Texans pray for homeless, military, family

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

For the past 61 years, people of all faiths have joined in prayer on the first Thursday in May.

Thursday, Tyler leaders and community members gathered for the annual prayer breakfast.

With his head bowed and eyes closed, Jashua Alfaro from Azleway Boys Ranch lead East Texans in prayer. He asked for homes for the homeless and safety for people in danger.

He admitted he was nervous, but wanted to lead the prayer for the people of Azleway.

"Azleway is a group of young men who have been mistreated and we've been put together so we can be helped," says Jashua.

He says Azleway helps young people who have been the victims of abuse and struggle with behavior problems.

"It's important that we pray and encourage each other. It's important that we pray and hold to each other during those times of crisis," says Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass.

Mayor Bass says Thursday is dedicated to freedom of religion. She says the prayer breakfast is needed each year to recognize a nation founded under God.

"Today our focus is on our next generation... on the future. We will be praying for people at every point of need in their life. We will be praying for our military, our young people, our families, people who have been imprisoned, the difficulty their families go through as a result of that and just all of the things that we deal with because life is not perfect," says Bass.

Through that imperfection, East Texans of all different faiths have found purpose and strength in uniting in prayer.

In 1952, legislation passed under President Harry Truman that established the National Day of Prayer. However, the Continental Congress began regularly scheduling days of prayer in 1775.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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