SAN DIEGO, Calif.—A small group of teenagers in Burleson, Texas, came together for a DiscipleNow weekend in early 1990. They came seeking God and little did they know how powerfully He was about to move. 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.
God used what He did among those teenagers and others who were holding similar prayer meetings at their schools to birth a vision in the hearts of youth leaders across Texas. The vision was that students throughout Texas would follow these examples and meet at their school flagpoles to pray simultaneously. The challenge was named See You at the Pole™ at a brainstorming session during a meeting of key youth leaders. The vision was shared with 20,000 students in June 1990 at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas.
Only God had envisioned how many students would step up to the challenge. At 7:00 a.m. on Sept. 12, 1990, more than 45,000 teenagers met at school flagpoles in four different states to pray before the start of school. Reports came into toll-free number for days after the first event.
A few months later, a group of youth ministers from all over the country gathered together for a national conference in Colorado. Many of them reported that their students had heard about the prayer movement in Texas and were equally burdened for their schools. No other events had been planned, but it was clear that students across the country would be creating their own national day of student prayer. There was no stopping them.
On Sept. 11, 1991, at 7:00 a.m., an estimated one million students gathered at school flagpoles all over the country. From Boston, Mass., to Los Angeles, Calif., from North Dakota to the tip of Texas, students came together to pray. Some sang, some read Scripture, but most importantly, they prayed. Like those first students, they prayed for their schools, for their friends, for their leaders and for their country.
As in all great movements of prayer, See You at the Pole™ did not begin in the hearts of people. It began in the heart of God. God used the obedience of a small group of teenagers to ignite what has become an international movement of prayer among young people.
Since 1991, See You at the Pole™ has grown to God-sized proportions. Within the first few years, the movement began to spread to other nations through missionaries from the U.S. Now each year, more than 3 million students from all over the world participate in See You at the Pole™. Students in more than 20 countries take part. In places like Canada, Korea, Japan, Turkey and the Ivory Coast, students are responding to God and taking seriously the challenge to pray.
“REVEAL”(Matt. 6:9-13) is the theme for the 20th anniversary of See You at the Pole™ (SYATP), the annual global day of student prayer. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 22, at schools across the United States and in many other countries.
Everything necessary for students to plan and promote a successful SYATP is available free at
www.syatp.com. Additional promotional resources can be ordered online or by calling (817) HIS-PLAN (447-7526) between 9-5 (Central Time), Monday-Friday. Brochures, a promotional DVD and posters are some of the materials available for 2010.
The San Diego-based National Network of Youth Ministries coordinates SYATP promotion. Paul Fleischmann, president of the Network, commented: “For 20 years, we have seen this day serve as a springboard for unity for teenagers on their secondary and college campuses. See You at the Pole™ unites students in prayer at the beginning of the school year.
Challenging youth to take leadership on their campus is always a good idea. Every year, it offers a fresh challenge for them to minister to their friends.”
Church congregations nationwide can show support for See You at the Pole™ by sponsoring special “Campus Challenge Sunday” commissioning services Sept. 18-19, the weekend before See You at the Pole™. Participants will recognize and pray for Christian students and educators in their congregations.
Campus Challenge Sunday resources, including sermon outlines and program ideas, have been created by the National Network of Youth Ministries and can be downloaded free from www.everyschool.com.
Preview promotional video at Preview promotional video at http://www.syatp.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25&Itemid=42.