SIERRA VISTA — In observance of the 68th National Day of Prayer, members of various Christian denominations gathered in prayer in front of City Hall on Thursday.

William Simotti, Cochise County’s National Day of Prayer coordinator and shepard elder at The Church in Sierra Vista, said the purpose of the day and the hour-long noontime event is to pray for “elected and unelected officials at the federal, state and local levels.”

The event in Sierra Vista started with a group prayer for the government, media, education system, the church, family, marriage, and the military and law enforcement.

Afterward, the group of roughly 50 people split into smaller groups to pray for all the individuals who hold office, including President Donald Trump, Arizona Sen. Martha McSally and Sierra Vista Mayor Rick Muller.

Marisa Bradford, a Sonoita resident, attended Thursday’s prayer for the second year. She said the noon choice for fellowship was a positive option because it allowed people to come during their lunch break or stop by if they were in the area.

“I enjoy the fellowship and meeting new people,” Bradford said.

National Day of Prayer falls on the first Thursday in May and was signed into law in the late 1980s by President Ronald Reagan.