“The Great Awakening was a spiritual renewal that swept the American Colonies, particularly New England, during the first half of the 18th Century. Certain Christians began to disassociate themselves with the established approach to worship at the time which had led to a general sense of complacency among believers, and instead they adopted an approach which was characterized by great fervor and emotion in prayer. This new spiritual renewal began with people like the Wesley brothers and George Whitefield in England and crossed over to the American Colonies during the first half of the 18th Century. Unlike the somber, largely Puritan spirituality of the early 1700s, the revivalism ushered in by the Awakening allowed people to express their emotions more overtly in order to feel a greater intimacy with God.” (source: here)
The theme for SYATP 2012 was Awaken! and the Scripture was Ephesians 3:14–21, which reads:
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father… I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts…And I pray that you… grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and…that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…”
See You at the Pole, the global day of student prayer, began in 1990 as a grass roots movement with ten students praying at their school. More than two decades later, millions around the world pray on their campuses on the fourth Wednesday in September.
I read somewhere that the organizers of SYATP said that SYATP is simply a prayer rally where students meet at the school flagpole before school to lift up their friends, families, teachers, schools, and nation to God.
I would say, “No, it’s not!” It’s not simply anything…..
For something to be simple, it implies that it is: 1.) easy to understand, 2.) a simple matter, 3.) plain, 4.) unadorned, 5.) unaffected, 6.) modest, 7.) not complicated.
I can probably, with 100% accuracy, tell you that the Lord Jesus Christ would say that SYATP is anything but simple…..
SYATP is not easy to understand….how does the world, in all its sin, understand 50+ kids gathering around their flagpole at 7AM, praying for their fellow classmates, teachers, and nation? (And in 2 different languages, might I add–we had Spanish and English prayers flowing back and forth all over that courtyard)…..
SYATP is not plain or unadorned…..how does the world, in all its sin, feel when 50+ kids, being led by their own fellow students (adults had NO part in the prayer time, other than to be there), wrap their arms, thoughts, and prayers around its school, adorning it with prayer and praise for their God?
SYATP is not unaffected…..how can the world, in all its sin, NOT be affected, by 50+ kids organizing an event, without teacher/school support (through the law, at least) and effectively try to reach this generation through prayer.
SYATP is not NOT complicated….it is everything but not complicated…..how can the world, in all its sin, say that SYATP is not complicated, when 50+ kids gather right in front of the drive-through parent drop-off, knowing that parents will stop and stare, wondering why there are kids blocking the front steps, making getting into the school complicated?
I can say that See You at the Pole is a student-initiated, student-led prayer. As I mentioned, no adult/teacher is allowed to lead in prayer, or even organize the event.
The dream, nation-wide, is that a day committed to global prayer, especially at schools, would be a springboard to praying year-round, leading to a moral and spiritual awakening as students seek to love and serve their schools.
This year’s event, held world-wide, is especially critical. Our nation, being divided more and more everyday because of war, politics, stubbornness, and an overall apathy for our country, needs a moral and spiritual awakening.
Any place that God puts a believer is a mission field. The fact that students are spending so many hours a week at their school should be self-evident to them that God has put them in that place to minister.
SYATP should be a launching pad for students to begin by praying together, as a body of believers, but it should also bring to mind ways in which students believers can reach their friends.
As much as Paul and I can be, we are at the school, watching sporting events, attending pep rallies, taking kids to lunch, and for me, of course, substituting, but we cannot (and should not have to) preach to our student’s friends on a regular basis. Sure, the ministry of presence is HUGE in the school, but verbally we are not allowed to come into the school and proclaim the Gospel. But, if the idea is birthed by our students, then the administration cannot stop them. That’s where SYATP comes into play.
They can proclaim the Gospel through on-campus groups (Christ First is already set into place at GHS), outreach, and praying for their classmates needs on a regular basis. But, in order to do that, our students have to be on fire for the Lord, beyond just Wednesdays and Sundays. They have to available and ready to account for their beliefs and where they stand.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10 (The Message)
“But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.”