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See You At The Pole: Students observe ‘Global Week of Prayer’

Students at Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City gather inside the gymnasium for See You At the Pole. [Photo provided]by Emily Howsden Staff Writer

Each September, students globally gather around flag poles at schools to observe a time of prayer. This event is known as See You At The Pole (SYATP), and it has challenged students to pray for their schools, classmates and communities for nearly 30 years.

See You At The Pole began when a small group of teenagers felt the need to pray for their community, according to syatp.com.

This led them to visit three different schools in their Texas town and gather around the flagpole on each campus. Once there, they prayed for school leaders and their friends.

Charles Page High School in Sand Springs gathered on the football field. [Photo provided]

This act was the beginning of a prayer movement that quickly spread to surrounding communities. See You At The Pole is now a global emphasis on unity in Christ. It has inspired generations to pray purposefully as a part of the Global Week of Student Prayer.

In 2018, an estimated one million students across America participated in praying for their schools. The theme for 2018 was “Broken,” based on the verse Eph. 3:14, which says, “I fall on my knees before the Father.”

Students from all kinds of schools—private, public and home school—were encouraged to “feel the brokenness all around you and start praying just like Paul did when he prayed ‘Break me, oh God. Let revival begin with me,’” according to the SYATP website.

Students at Empire High School hold hands as they pray for their school. [Photo provided]

In Oklahoma, students observed SYATP in large numbers across the state.

More than 100 students gathered in Watonga, according to Brandon Kalicki, youth pastor at Watonga, First.

In a Facebook post, Hunter Hayes, youth pastor and music director at Maysville, First said, “Thank you to all the other youth workers in town that helped make this (SYATP) a go! What a blessing it is for me to do ministry with you all as we share one goal, and that is to share the love of Christ with these students.

“Maysville is blessed with great students! I love seeing them come together for a great cause!

Parents and teachers pray with students at Eastlake Elementary in Moore. [Photo provided]

Thank you to the teachers and administrators who were also out there supporting this. What an honor to work alongside great adults who have the same mindset!”

Maysville High School students gather around the school flag pole. [Photo provided]

Doug Clark, SYATP national coordinator, said in a video on the SYATP Facebook page, “Recently, the school campus has resurfaced as the focus of conversation and debate in our society. We all want a better future for our students—one that’s safe, positive and fair for all. Prayer is the first and best thing we can do to make this happen.”

Ashlee Craig, student Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader at Moore High School helped plan the SYATP event at her school.

“I saw a need and thought I want to get this done and get this together,” Craig said. “So I asked other people that I knew, along with my cross country coach, and we got a group started. It all just kind of fell in place.”

Moore High School students join hands as they pray on Wed. morning. [Photo provided]

In Moore, students gathered in the gymnasium lobby due to rainfall the morning of SYATP.

“It’s incredible to see that I have peers that are willing to put forth the time to come together, worship Jesus and to spread the Word as we get together and fellowship,” Craig said.

“You don’t always get to see that at school because there is a lot of negativity, so it’s incredible, and I hope it affects the other students that came as much as it has affected me. It makes me want to keep going and encourage my classmates to come to know Jesus too.”

Idabel High School students pray around the flag pole. [Photo provided]

At Empire High School, in Duncan, SYATP also moved inside due to rain. However, that did not affect the 80 students, teachers and parents who attended the gathering. After a time of worship and large group prayer, students broke up into smaller groups and prayed for school administration and students around the world. They were also asked to pray for local, state and national leaders, as well as friends and family.

As students gathered nationally to pray for global change, national leaders of SYATP cast their vision for student-lead prayer in schools across America.

“We dream of a day when students are praying every day at every middle and high school in order that every student may have the opportunity to know the love of Christ,” Clark said.

Verdigris High School students sing praise and worship songs as the sun rises. [Photo provided]

A future edition of the Baptist Messenger will report on See You After the Pole rallies that took place the evening after See You At The Pole.
For more information on Global Week of Student Prayer and other resources for students, visit www.skopos.org/syatp.

Emily Howsden

Author: Emily Howsden

Emily Howsden is a staff writer for the Baptist Messenger.

View more articles by Emily Howsden.

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