At 7 a.m. on Wednesday, September 22, students from around the globe will gather at their schools’ flagpoles for a time of prayer. This worldwide movement has been appropriately named “See You At The Pole ™” (SYATP). It started in Texas by a youth group who felt led to pray at schools at night. They shared their experience and challenged others to pray at their schools. Almost every school has a flagpole so it became the most convenient place for the Christian students to meet. SYATP was born. Students have honored this tradition for 20 years.
Students plan carefully for this event. They choose Bible readings, pray for their schools and nations and listen to messages from student leaders.
Adults need not worry that the student led prayer is illegal. The United States Supreme Court declared SYATP as a Constitutionally protected form of free speech. “Students may also participate in before or after school events with religious content, such as “see you at the flag pole” gatherings, on the same terms as they may participate in other noncurriculum activities on school premises. School officials may neither discourage nor encourage participation in such an event.”
Although parents and educators are encouraged to support SYATP, students are to lead the movement and prayer at their school. Adults can support this event through prayer, encouraging students to attend, providing transportation and encouraging leadership. Adults however, are not to participate in the event itself. They can support the students that morning by praying at their house of worship, workplace or city hall.
This year’s See You At The Pole ™ theme is “Reveal” based on the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6-9-13. “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (NIV)
The Message states it simply “With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best—as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.”