See You at the Pole student prayer event draws near
JEFFERSON CITY–Students have begun a new school year and that means See You at the Pole (SYATP) isn’t far behind.
SYATP is a student-initiated, student-organized and student-led event. It is about students meeting at their school’s flagpole to pray — for their school, friends, teachers, government, and nation.
The annual event is held on the fourth Wednesday in September, which is Sept. 26 this year. The suggested starting time is 7 a.m. but students are encouraged to modify the schedule to fit their school.
Lyle Witcher, student evangelism specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), said the prayer time can be great way to begin a revolution for Christ on campus.
“I’d like to see SYATP become a launching pad to help create student-led prayer and Bible clubs on school campuses all the other days and weeks of the year,” he said.
Witcher also said the MBC’s student ministry team has resources to help educate a church on starting campus clubs so they can capitalize on the high profile of SYATP.
In 1990, a small group of teenagers in Burleson, Texas, came together for a DiscipleNow weekend in early 1990. During the weekend, God penetrated their hearts like never before. The students were broken before God and burdened for their friends. Compelled to pray, they drove to three different schools that night. Not knowing exactly what to do, they went to the school flagpoles and prayed for their friends, schools, and leaders.
Soon, the vision was that students throughout Texas would follow these examples and meet at their school flagpoles to pray simultaneously. The challenge was named “See You at the Pole” at an early brainstorming session. The vision then was shared with 20,000 students in June 1990 at Reunion Arena in Dallas.
At 7 a.m. Sept. 12, 1990, more than 45,000 teenagers met at school flagpoles in four different states to pray before the start of school.
A year later, one million students gathered at school flagpoles all over the country. From Boston to Los Angeles, students came together to pray. Some sang and some read Scripture, but most importantly, they prayed. Like those first students, they prayed for their schools, for their friends, for their leaders, and for their country.
Since then, SYATP has grown to God-sized proportions. Within only a couple of years, students were praying in several countries around the world. Now, more than 3 million students from all 50 states participate in SYATP, and students in more than 20 countries take part.
So in places like Canada, Guam, Korea, Japan, Turkey, and the Ivory Coast, students are responding to God, taking seriously the challenge to pray.