On Wednesday, September 28 at 7 a.m., students all around the globe will gather at their flagpoles to pray for their school, friends, families, churches and communities. Whether students attend public school, private school or home school, See You at the Pole (SYATP) is a day committed to global unity in Christ and prayer for this generation. This year students are also “being challenged to find new and unique ways, places and times to pray throughout Global Week of Student Prayer— Sunday, September 25 through Saturday, October 1.” Prayer is not the only way to talk to God; many students have started to also hold times of worship and even share a message during this event. This week is a time when many launch on-campus Bible clubs, prayer strategies and student ministries.
In the words of SAYTP Promotion Coordinator Doug Clark, “See You at the Pole, at its best, has never been about one day. It’s been about supporting students and helping them understand how they can be ‘campus missionaries’ all year long.”
Youth organizations like First Priority (FP) deepen students’ understanding of being “campus missionaries” by providing the tools and instruction to effectively affect their youth community on a day to day basis. During SYATP, First Priority’s leadership team joins public schools in Broward and Palm Beach counties and beyond in prayer and encourages students to continue making a difference. Students can do that by leading or initiating a student led Christian club at their school.
A way that FP has partnered with See You At the Pole is that they enlist nearly 200 church partners to encourage students in their youth ministries to participate in the event at their schools. “We believe that every heart that turns towards Jesus Christ in the school year is a result of the initial prayers of students who gather for See You at the Pole and the subsequent prayer effort that is engaged all year long ,” said Fred Revell, First Priority associate director.
A spark of courage
This year’s theme, We Cry Out, is rooted in the event’s desire to spark courage in the youth of today to cry out and proclaim the name of God; this way, they become a generation seeking Him, such as the one described in Psalms 24:3-6. The verses explain that the generation who seeks him “will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
Back in the early ‘60s, school-sponsored prayer was deemed illegal in a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Instead of giving up on prayer, however, Christian students took action. A fire sparked in the mind of Christ-devoted students, who gained encouragement from their spiritual leaders like youth pastors or even their parents. This fire for spiritual awakening fueled students in Texas so much that they initiated a special time of prayer in the Fort Worth suburb of Burleson, Texas, in 1990. This was the start of the national day of prayer event called See You at the Pole.
As long as a school remains religiously neutral, students can pray on their own accord. Nothing prohibits public students from praying or reading the Bible on a voluntary basis during their free time. Today, although only students can initiate this event at schools (due to the court removing government sponsored prayer/worship in 1963), “a diverse mix of approximately 100 church denominations, nonprofit ministries and other organizations are listed as ‘Supporting Ministries’ who promote, endorse or otherwise support See You at the Pole™,” according to their website at syatp.com.
Students from Calvary Christian Academy (CCA) shared their thoughts about See You at the Pole. CCA Senior Andres Casanova said he thinks that See You at the Pole should be an event done more than once a year because “it brings our school together as one voice.”
When asked about the impact of SYATP, CCA Sophomore Jewel Murray, replied that the community greatly benefits from the event because it brings unity “through prayer and by sharing their needs with each other.”
Until the next SYATP event, the prayer is for our community to continue to fan the flame that the Holy Spirit has ignited in each heart and strive to be a generation that seeks and reflects God.
“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart,who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob” (Psalm 24:3-6, ESV).
Estefania Hernandez is a student at Calvary Christian Academy and a Good News intern. You can reach her at [email protected].