Radical Prayer: See You at the Pole 2013
by Doug Clark
In 1727, a community of believers in Herrnhut, Saxony, in what is now the eastern edge of Germany, started praying.
They didn’t stop for 100 years.
Advance to September 1999, when believers in Kansas City began praying and worshipping. That group has been praying 24/7 since then.
In both Herrnhut and at International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, Christians listened to the Lord and initiated something radical, diving into extraordinary prayer and worship.
In both places, prayer brought deep transformation of people’s lives, and resulted in many taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.
In Burleson, Texas in spring 1990, a group of students surrendered to God during a weekend retreat. They heard His prompting to go pray at three schools, after dark on a Saturday night, and obeyed. For them, it was powerful – and inspired the first See You at the Pole that September, when more than 45,000 students prayed across Texas and in three other states. From there, SYATP blew up. Millions have prayed – all over the world.
In September 2013, imagine what might happen if students ask the Lord how prayer might change them, their schools, their communities…their world. And then do it. Not just pray, but seek His face, and turn from sin.
This is the passion behind See You at the Pole in 2013. Not just a prayer meeting before school; donuts and OJ; “been there, done that, go to class.” But students saying, “This week, God…do You want to do something radical through us? We’ll pray before school, after school, at lunch, all night…whatever YOU want us to do. But it starts with us: listening, seeking, obeying.”
What's different about SYATP this year?
This year, it’s not just a day. SYATP will be a Global Student Prayer Week, September 22-28, 2013. At the center of the week is See You at the Pole Day — Wednesday, September 25 at 7:00 AM local time.
The theme for SYATP 2013 is #IFthen, taking 2 Chronicles 7:14 seriously: IF we pray, seek, turn. THEN God hears, forgives, heals.
For See You at the Pole 2013, students are challenged to find new and unique ways, places, and times to pray throughout Global Student Prayer Week—Sunday, September 22 through Saturday, September 28. Whether they attend public school, private school, or home school, they can gather their friends wherever and whenever they can to pray any time that week.
Then on Wednesday, September 25th at 7:00 AM local time, if possible, everyone is encouraged to gather at a school flagpole to pray at See You at the Pole. This means that, all around the world in every time zone, for 24 hours, students will be praying for their school, friends, families, churches, and communities.
A week dedicated to prayer and launching your on-campus Bible clubs, prayer strategies, and student ministries.
A day committed to global unity in Christ.
How will this See You at the Pole look in your community this year?
We aren't prescribing that to you! We can, however, offer some suggestions that may help you as you lead students and others in your community. It might mean an all-night prayer vigil, ending at the school. It might be a series of prayer times throughout the week. It might look like students gathering at your churches for concerts of prayer and worship in the evening. God may bring the depth of His presence, and deep conviction and transforming confession.
We don’t know, but God does. That's where your leadership now, through the summer, and before SYATP is important.
We believe you’ll do the youth in your city a big favor if you challenge them to ask God, and do what He says. Do you dare to challenge them, and release them to follow His Spirit’s leading?
Even more, what might happen if we learn with them how to be better listeners to God's voice?
Learning to listen
If we're convinced that God speaks, and we're convinced that He has a perfect plan for your life, your community, and the schools in it, then our job is to learn to listen well.
You may have great resources for this spiritual discipline. A good starting point is this article on Listening Prayer: http://www.youthworkers.net/index.cfm/fuseaction/blog.view/BlogID/1550.
Putting it into practice
Use wisdom as you move forward with this in your youth group and community. How you respond to a student's idea - which may seem totally "outside the box" to you - is a good test of your own spiritual listening skills! Handle their ideas prayerfully, taking them before the Lord and others. Pray with them about it. Encourage them. Use the principles you're teaching about "listening prayer" to evaluate and confirm.
On that Saturday night in Burleson in 1990, it says a lot that the volunteer adult couple - who were with the students when they felt led to go pray at their schools - allowed them to go. It was an outside the box idea that made a huge difference.
Who knows what God will do in 2013?
Learn more about See You at the Pole at www.syatp.com.