Gonzales— May 1 started out early for Tracy Marquette, as she prepared for a 7:30 a.m. prayer breakfast and noon luncheon.

Like all of Marquette’s days, the morning started in prayer, a habit Marquette is hoping will spread to others in the community.

Marquette organized a National Day of Prayer breakfast in Donaldsonville and a luncheon in Gonzales “to promote prayer in our community.”

Marquette challenged those attending to “pray for America each day.”

The events, attended by more than 200 people, were organized by Pray For America, a nonprofit group that is working to hold community prayer events around the country.

Community leaders were invited to offer prayers for the military, media, business, education, church, family and government.

Taking part in the program were the Rev. Richard Rayborn Jr., Lisa Carter, the Rev. Matt Bourgeois, District Attorney Ricky Babin, Youth Pastor Levi Stermer, Sgt. Maj. Chad Anderson, Jeanne Burns Dempster, Becky Katz, School Board President Troy Gautreau Sr., the Rev. Trey Harris, the Rev. Paul Yi, the Rev. Laughtaught Delaney Jr., the Rev. Scott Beldsoe, Parish President Tommy Martinez and the Rev. Beverly Bilboa.

Students from Faith Academy led the Pledge of Allegiance and Donaldsonville High School student Kaitlyn Cayette sang the national anthem.

The National Day of Prayer was established by an act of Congress in 1952, the website for the event says. Each year, the president and all 50 governors sign proclamations declaring the first Thursday in May as a day of prayer.