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Christian Life

Will You Participate in ‘See You at the Pole’ 2012?

Every year on the fourth Wednesday in September, Christian students across the globe meet at their schools’ flagpoles to pray for their schools, teachers, administration and classmates; they pray to take back their schools for God. For those of you who haven’t heard, this Wednesday, September 26, is See You at the Pole!

This year’s theme is “Awaken.”

Stir up Yourself, and awake to my right and to my cause, my God and my Lord (Psalm 35:23).

See You at the Pole is a student-initiated and student-led time of prayer. Generally, students meet at their school’s flagpole 30 minutes before the start of school–so if your first period bell is at 7:30 a.m., you’d meet at the flagpole at 7:00 a.m.

Two main questions arise about See You at the Pole–“Is it legal?” and “Didn’t Jesus condemn public prayer?”–so let’s answer those right now.

  1. Is See You at the Pole legal? Yes! According to a 1990 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens and affirmed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, “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.” [syatp.com]
  2. Didn’t Jesus condemn public prayer? This question comes from a reading of Matthew 6:5-6:

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Many Christians take this to mean we should never pray in public, but as I researched this Scripture, I learned that Jesus is actually not condemning public prayer; Jesus is condemning a certain motive of the heart. When we pray, the motives of our heart should be thankfulness to God, adoration of God or sincere desire to see change in others’ lives and our world. Our motives need to be pure.

In this Scripture, Jesus is talking about people whose motives are not pure. When these people (mostly Pharisees) prayed, they did it very dramatically so other people would see how amazingly spiritual they were. They prayed to draw attention to themselves and that is an impure motive.

The motive for See You at the Pole is for God to move in our schools. It’s a desire for students’ and teachers’ lives to be changed, and for God to take the leadership of our campuses and upcoming generations. These motives are pure and worthy in God’s eyes.

On June 25, 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Engel v. Vitale to remove prayer from public schools, essentially kicking God out of our public school system. See You at the Pole and the Christian clubs that meet on your campuses are our way of inviting God back into our schools, where we desperately need Him.

Will you be joining the millions of Christians around the world to pray for your school? Will we see you at the pole?

If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or it I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:13-14).

Image: Thinkstock | Ron Chapple Studios

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31 Comments

  1. kath660

    Posted by kath660 on September 29, 2012 at 00:21

    I did it, it was great! 😀

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by Breanna on September 26, 2012 at 20:07

    This is the first I have heard of this. This is so cool and very much needed in schools

  3. alaina.joanne

    Posted by alaina.joanne on September 26, 2012 at 19:13

    I went to my school’s See You at the Pole today! There were quite a few people there, mostly from my school’s Christian club, SLAM (Students Living a Mission). It felt so empowering to be able to stand with my fellow believers and pray for our school and community. I heard some kids talking about it in the hallways too, which means it must have had at least a little bit of an impact 🙂

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by Leah on September 26, 2012 at 08:42

    I’m so sad i missed it!

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by TheGoodLife on September 26, 2012 at 06:33

    I really, really wanted to do this but am out w/ the flu and couldn’t go, :'(

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by daughterofgod on September 25, 2012 at 21:57

    I attend open campus no flagpole.. so i guess ill still pray in open

  7. Mcole962015

    Posted by Mcole962015 on September 25, 2012 at 18:59

    I’m leading SYATP ! ! ! !

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by Estefany on September 25, 2012 at 18:01

    This awesome but idk if my school does it or even allows it =/

  9. redheadjess123

    Posted by redheadjess123 on September 25, 2012 at 17:01

    I can’t wait to go! This will be my first year going, and I hope we all can feel God’s presence tomorrow during prayer!

  10. Project Inspired

    Posted by savannahasingeorgia on September 25, 2012 at 16:08

    Oh my goodness! I am so glad to see this! My friend and I actually got our school to do this this year!

  11. HollyIsInspired

    Posted by HollyIsInspired on September 25, 2012 at 15:42

    I will be going! I’m excited for it although I know many non-Christians for “fake” Christians will be going as well for who knows why. That really bothers me if they’re doing it just for show purposes, but I’m definitely going to pray for them and hope some of them recognize Jesus’s presence during the prayer.

  12. Christina

    Posted by Christina on September 25, 2012 at 13:25

    Yes:) I’m very excited!!

  13. Project Inspired

    Posted by on September 25, 2012 at 11:01

    I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go to the pole, unless they want to make themselves a target. I prefer to keep my head down and not broadcast my faith; modern Christianity has way too many negative stereotypes and associations, and I’d rather not have to deal with that nonsense.

    • vanilla

      Posted by vanilla on September 28, 2012 at 17:48

      Aren’t we as Christians supposed to be open about our faith though? We need to break the stereotypes of modern Christianity and show people who Jesus is!

  14. IdaPahus

    Posted by IdaPahus on September 25, 2012 at 06:33

    I wish we had this in Denmark! But there isn`t as many christians here as in the US. But I`ll definetly pray!!!

  15. hannah1997

    Posted by hannah1997 on September 25, 2012 at 06:01

    Oh thats so neat! Wish I could do that, but I’m homeschooled

  16. InfiniteFaith

    Posted by InfiniteFaith on September 24, 2012 at 19:54

    I’ve never heard of this day before today so it came as a little surprise, but I can’t wait to get involved! Although I don’t have school on Wednesday, I’m definitely going to be praying for my school and city, as well as other schools throughout the country. 🙂

  17. kayla.hb13

    Posted by kayla.hb13 on September 24, 2012 at 19:48

    Yes! Our Bible Study group hosts his every year 🙂 we have donuts before we sing worship and then pray! It’s so inspiring!

  18. Project Inspired

    Posted by kaitm14 on September 24, 2012 at 18:41

    This will be my first year that I am! I’m excited and ready to be praying for our Country, our leaders, and our education!

  19. LizB

    Posted by LizB on September 24, 2012 at 16:40

    I think so! I hope so!

  20. Project Inspired

    Posted by Dragonlily96 on September 24, 2012 at 15:51

    My church is even having a see you at the pole pre-rally! If you live in the Englewood Port Charlotte you should meet at the Methodist church in Englewood just off of Pine Street. It starts at seven pm but you must be there early to register.

  21. Project Inspired

    Posted by iris.chandler45 on September 24, 2012 at 14:55

    Um…Engel v. Vitale outlawed teachers leading prayer in public schools, not prayer in public schools period. Just saying. I think this is a cool event!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by 88do on September 25, 2012 at 13:21

      Actually, the teacher that runs Fellowship of Christian Athletes leads See You at the Pole at my school. Lol. And I got to a public school.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by iris.chandler45 on September 27, 2012 at 18:01

        That’s different because it’s a club leader and the attendance of the event is optional. Engel v. Vitale outlawed teachers leading prayer in classrooms, at lunch, etc., even if it is voluntary because it is mandatory that the students be present at those places. Does that make sense? Sorry, I could have worded that better.

  22. Paris

    Posted by Paris on September 24, 2012 at 14:53

    I wish our school did that when I was in school.Those kids there aren’t into Jesus.

  23. HurricaneMurphGirl

    Posted by HurricaneMurphGirl on September 24, 2012 at 13:42

    I am homeschooled, and so i cannot go to a school to pray. However, I will definitely be praying for everyone who participates, and also for the schools in our country. =)

  24. pinkgodlover

    Posted by pinkgodlover on September 24, 2012 at 13:36

    i’m going to a local middle school this wednesday to do that,since i’m homeschooled!!

  25. Project Inspired

    Posted by haley_nicole_4_Christ on September 24, 2012 at 12:44

    Ohh…that’s what that is! 😀 I saw like a billion flyers about that around my school today and I was like, “What the heck is that?”

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by SonikkuMikuFan on September 28, 2012 at 14:04

      Same thing here! I kept asking people about it but they didn’t know either! One bad thing about my school is that there are a BUNCH of Athiests. I didn’t go because I didn’t know what it was.