BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — Peace, unity and youth are some of the prayers made by religious and government leaders in Bessemer at DeBardeleben Park for National Day of Prayer.

On this day always observed on the first Thursday of May, some residents in Bessemer say prayer is the answer.

“I do believe prayer is the answer to everything including all the violence that we’re having,” Bessemer resident Marilyn Jackson said. “We want to be able to pray and hopefully impact others to change in their ways and the things they’re doing.”

Ending violence in communities was the prayer from Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway.

According to Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr, 92% of homicides in Jefferson County involve the use of a firearm and 74% of all known homicides have a history of domestic violence.

Pettway’s prayer is that people within the community will come together to provide more solutions against violence.

“Once we do that we can have better schools, communities and everything but we have to put aside differences and work together as one,” Pettway said.

The program ended with a prayer walk to let the city, county and nation know that they’re united together to face the challenges in the nation.