Students Rally Round Flagpoles to Pray for Schools, Nation

As many as 2 million students worldwide are expected to gather at 7 a.m. Wednesday to pray for a moral and spiritual awakening in their schools and nations during the 20th anniversary See You at the Pole (SYATP) event.

Since the prayer day launched in Burleson, Texas, in 1990, millions of students—from preschool to college—have gathered around their campus flagpoles to pray each September for their leaders, schools and families during the annual event.

This year's theme is "reveal," drawn from the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6, which in The Message Bible begins, "Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are." Organizers are calling on students to ask God to reveal Himself to their campuses and bring a spiritual awakening.

"For 20 years, we have seen this day serve as a springboard for unity for teenagers on their secondary and college campuses," said Paul Fleischmann, president of the San Diego-based National Network of Youth Ministries, which helps promote SYATP.

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"Challenging youth to take leadership on their campus is always a good idea," he added. "Every year, it offers a fresh challenge for them to minister to their friends."

The student-led SYATP gatherings have given way to dozens of other campus-based prayer ministries, including the Luke18 Project, a joint ministry venture of TheCall and the International House of Prayer, both based in Kansas City, Mo.

The outreach is challenging thousands of college students to plant "prayer furnaces" on every full-time, four-year accredited college campus by the 2012-13 school year. From there, the plan is to "mobilize students into a new student volunteer movement of missions and prayer, sending them to the nations of the earth to go to the hardest and darkest places," said Luke18 Project executive director Brian Kim.

At the end of this week, the Luke18 Project will partner with TheCall, the House of Prayer and Every Home for Christ (EHC) to send a team on a two-week journey through California to call young adults to prayer and missions. The Purple Pig Tour, named after a book by EHC President Dick Eastman, will commence Sunday.



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