When people come together for a mutual vision, it often creates a tangible atmosphere that is filled with hope and sometimes, even great expectations.
Students of Craig County Public Schools Fellowship Christian Athletics (FCA) led a prayer event on Wednesday, September 26, called See you at the Pole (SYATP). It was a time to bring students, teachers and the community together as one, for a common cause, to pray for Craig County students and its citizens.
SYATP is now a global event. On Wednesday, in every time zone around the world, students lead the event around their flagpoles, praying for their school, friends, churches and communities. “SYATP is a day committed to global unity in Christ and prayer for your generation,” states the organization’s website.
SYATP also designates the entire week, September 23 through September 29 this year, to “encourage students to find new and unique ways, places and times to pray throughout the week.”
This year’s theme was Broken, and the scripture used was Ephesians 3:14 which states, “I fall on my knees before the Father.”
SYATP shares that; “The Apostle Paul, a murderer of Christians turned missionary for Christ, wrote to the church at Ephesus that he falls on his knees before his heavenly Father in a spirit of humility and brokenness, pleading for Him to move. Paul was never going to tell the church to be humbled before making sure he was humbled first.”
Jeanne Guthrie, a teacher at CCPS, noted that there were about 40 persons in attendance of the CYATP event. “We gave everyone red silicone band with the theme Broken on it along with the letters SYATP,” she said.
The official website notes the story from an evangelist who explained how to start a revival: “Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk, draw a circle around yourself. There on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.”
The first event seems to have started by accident in 1990 where a few teenagers gathered at a Disciple Now weekend. On one Saturday evening, it is said that they became broken before God and burdened for their friends, so they drove to three different schools that night and prayed. They chose the flagpole as their prayer station.
They decided to try to get the idea to other students within Texas, which was when the title See You at the Pole was birthed. This vision was shared with 20,000 students in the Dallas area that year. On September 12, 1990, more than 45,000 students were reported from four states to have met at flagpoles and prayed.
Little did they know that 28 years later, it would become an international movement, covering 64 countries, with participation from over one million students.
At Craig’s SYATP, the FCA invited two pastors also to speak, Alex James from New Castle Christian Church and Kevin Altizer from First Baptist. Both spoke, and then everyone held hands in a circle around the pole while prayers commenced.
“It was my privilege to be there,” James said. “To see all those students gathered for devotion and prayer was incredible. It’s obvious there is a hunger for God and a passion for Christ among the student body of Craig County.”
Kevin Altizer added, “I was encouraged to see all the young folks at prayer around the pole. It’s refreshing to me as a pastor to know there are young people in our community who believe prayer changes things and Jesus Christ is Lord! These young people prayed for us as a community, so we also need to take time to pray for our young people that they experience our prayers in return. God hears and answers prayer as the Bible says in James 5:16, ‘The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’”
The groundwork of See You at the Pole is centered on one thing – prayer. They also emphasize, “SYATP is still about students uniting themselves in prayer before God interceding for their generation.”
Hannah Altizer, a student at CCPS, said, “It was such an awesome opportunity to be part of See You at the Pole. It was so encouraging to see my fellow classmates, teachers and people from our community, come together to uplift and pray for each other, our school, our community and our country. We pray around the pole every Wednesday morning at 8:10 a.m. and welcome anyone who would like to join us to come.”