Christian students across the nation and around the world will be gathering around their school flagpoles today for the annual ‘See You at the Pole’ day, a student-led prayer event that has been a tradition for over 20 years.
‘See You at the Pole’ began in the town of Burleson, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth, and has since spread to all 50 states and 20 countries worldwide, including Australia and Canada.
“A small group of teenagers in Burleson, Texas, came together for a DiscipleNow weekend in early 1990,” the event website explains. “On Saturday night their hearts were penetrated like never before, when they became 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. Those students had no idea how God would use their obedience.”
The gathering later was dubbed ‘See You at the Pole’ by area youth leaders, and the concept of students praying around the flagpole was shared that summer during a large youth event. By September, over 45,000 students gathered to prayer for their friends, teachers and country.
“For 21 years, we have seen this day serve as a springboard for unity for teenagers on their campuses,” said Paul Fleischmann of the National Network of Youth Ministries. “Every year, it offers a fresh challenge for them to minister to their friends.”
A number of cities across America are excited about today’s event, which kicks off at 7 a.m. local time.
“A lot of people don’t know the amount of poverty we have in Fremont,” Brad Wiese of the First Baptist Church of Fremont, Nebraska told the Fremont Tribune. “As the kids are praying for one another, I’m wanting them to know some of the things their schoolmates and families in Fremont are going through.”
The Southern Prairie YMCA in Creston, Iowa invited the whole community to join the students at the gathering in their city.
“We are trying to emphasis the ‘C’ in the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association),” executive director Jacki Steffen told the Creston News Advertiser. “This morning gives us the opportunity for us to take a moment to pray for our nation and community.”
In the meantime, Christian legal groups are also on standby in the event that school officials or other groups attempt to thwart the gatherings. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has created a legal memo in the event of an emergency.
“The First Amendment protects the freedom of students to participate in SYATP through prayer and worship activities,” said ADF attorney Matt Sharp. “Public school officials who say otherwise are misinformed. We hope our legal memo clarifies the freedom of students to hold and participate in this event.”
Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel likewise stated that his organization would offer free assistance if needed.
“Liberty Counsel will provide education and, if necessary, legal representation to make sure that youth all over America will be able to gather at the annual See You at the Pole event,” he told reporters. “Revival preceded the American Revolution. America was birthed in prayer. America will be sustained in prayer.”