Photo of young man praying over Florida deputy goes viral

A photo of a young man praying over a Volusia County deputy is warming hearts around the world.

Sgt. Cameron Tucker said he was having dinner with his family at the Zaxby's in Deland when Juan O'Neal struck up a conversation. Then, he asked if he could pray for his protection.

"He asked if he could take the time to pray over me, and I said of course you never turn that down," explained Sgt. Tucker.

Sgt. Tucker's wife shared the picture on Facebook, where it garnered thousands of shares, likes and comments within hours.

MOBILE USERS: Click here to see the Facebook post

"I definitely wasn't expecting that honestly," said O'Neal.

The pair recalled the emotional moment at a reunion Wednesday afternoon. O'Neal tells the News Station he felt called.

"I just really did feel compelled to pray over him. I was just like man, I really want to let him know that I truly appreciate him," said the Stetson University student.

O'Neal said his personal connection with law enforcement was another reason he felt the urge to pray for Sgt. Tucker.

"Seeing some of the stuff that my dad goes through I can only imagine what Sgt. Tucker could go through," said O'Neal, whose dad is an officer in his home state of Georgia.

Sgt. Tucker said it's a moment he'll never forget.

"It just gives you a renewed hope that there's a lot of good people out there who truly care and appreciate everything that we do," he said.