Christian students across the nation and around the world gathered at their school flagpoles on Wednesday for the annual ‘See You at the Pole’ day, a student-led prayer event that has been a much-observed 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 Canada, Australia, Japan and South Africa.
“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.
On Wednesday, all around the globe, in every time zone, students gathered at their flagpoles to pray for their communities, just as those who have gone before did over 20 years ago.
In Fultondale, Alabama, an estimated 145 students gathered at Fultondale Elementary School before the start of the school day.
“The heart and the desire of those kids to stand out from their peers and pray, it was beautiful,” James Cato, an area director for First Priority, told Al.com.
At North DeSoto Middle School in Stonewall, Louisiana, nearly 250 students gathered for a time of singing, prayer and exhortation from the Scriptures.
“God is doing some amazing things in our schools and in our community,” Zachary Almarode, youth pastor at Salem Baptist Church, told the Baptist Message. “I was extremely ecstatic. To see that many students show up early to school to pray gives me chill bumps. What an encouragement. The next great revival in this nation will come from this generation.”
An unspecified number of students also joined together to sing and pray at Edison Preparatory School in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“They really have to take that path on their own, and make the choice on their own to follow the Lord and be a leader, and to be fishers of men,” Andrea Gamble, special education teacher at the school, told reporters. “It can be hard for them to stand up against the drugs, the alcohol and whatever else is going on in the media.”
Some cities also held rallies on Tuesday night to gear up for the event. Hundreds gathered in Springfield, Missouri for a time of praise and prayer.
“It just feels pretty powerful that we can meet up in a public place and just have a whole hour and a half of prayer,” said student Connor Reich.
“I think it’s important for us as Christians to take a stand and say we want to make a difference. We want God to take over this city. We want God to bless this city. We want God to grow this city. We want morals in this city. We want Christian influence in this city,” added resident Pam Sutterfield.