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‘See You at the Pole’ brings students together in prayer

Millions of students across the nation, as well as area students, will gather for prayer at their school flagpoles on Wednesday morning, Sept. 23, before classes begin. They will join hands and hearts to pray for their friends, teachers, schools, government and their nation.

“See You At The Pole,” described as a student-led, student-organized event, began in 1990 with a small group of teenagers in the Ft. Worth suburb of Burleson, Texas. The group took their idea to other schools in Texas and challenged 20,000 students at a youth rally in Dallas to pray at their schools.

The first year, 45,000 students met at their flagpoles, and the next year one million gathered to pray. Participation in the annual event has grown to more than three million students in all 50 states, in addition to students from 20 countries. “See You At The Pole, according the Web site www.syatp.com, involves students in elementary schools, middle/junior high schools, high schools and colleges/universities.

This year’s theme, “Engage: Go and pray….” comes from 2 Kings 22:13, when a teenager named Josiah, King of Israel, led one of the greatest revivals in the Old Testament. He began to pursue God passionately, “this resulted in radical obedience – getting rid of everything that did not honor God and challenging everyone around him to do likewise.”

When King Josiah read the newly discovered Scriptures, he proclaimed God’s Word to his nation, “Go and pray to God for me and for the people.” His nation then experienced a spiritual awakening.

During the 10 to 15 minute event before school starts the morning of Sept. 23, students who choose to attend are asked to pray for God to bring moral and spiritual awakening to their campuses and countries.

According to the San Diego-based National Network of Youth Ministries, who coordinates the promotion of SYATP, “Every year, we have seen this day serve as a springboard for unity among teenagers.”

Organizers say that “See You At The Pole” isn’t about which grade a student is in or what church he or she attends. It’s not a political rally or a stand for or against anything. It’s about coming together to pray.

Facing the peer pressure to try alcohol and drugs, students need prayer to stand strong against temptations to these addictions – not just through their own prayers. This generation of young people needs our prayers, too.

Most of their music tells them to be promiscuous, risking STDs and unplanned pregnancies. Some songs, movies, and video games encourage violent behavior, so is it any wonder we’ve witnessed the tragic shootings on campuses in recent years?

Someone once said, “Don’t underestimate two minutes with God in prayer.” Author S.D. Gordan has written, “The greatest thing anyone can do for God and for man is to pray.”

On Wednesday morning, Sept. 23, when students gather to pray around their flagpoles, let’s join our hearts with them and pray for our children, their teachers and their schools.