See You at the Pole brings students together

Crusader photo/ Dana Loewen Logan Green, Mikayla Knudsen and Kristin Walter gather around the doughnuts and try to stay warm after the SYATP ceremony.
Crusader photo/ Dana Loewen
Logan Green, Mikayla Knudsen and Kristin Walter gather around the doughnuts and try to stay warm after the SYATP ceremony.

Waking up early and facing 40 degree temperatures didn’t stop about 20 students who huddled around the flagpole on campus at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Their purpose was to pray for country, town and school. The group started by singing a few praise songs. They then took turns volunteering to pray, and finished with doughnuts and orange juice. “It was freezing cold but the thought of praising God made that better,” said Clair Sims, a student who attended. The Seward group was part of the national See You At The Pole, with a theme for this year of “Engage: Go and pray…” with the theme verse of II Kings 22:13a, which says “Go and pray to God for me and for the people.” This verse comes from the story of Josiah, who became king of Israel at the age of 8. At the age of 16, he began to pursue God passionately. He got rid of everything that did not honor God and challenged everyone around him to follow his example. When Josiah heard the scriptures, he was convicted. This is what led him to say what he said in the theme verse. “I was excited to see how many students came this year. It was just a wonderful time of prayer for our country, town and school,” said Nathan Engelman, a CMC leader. “It was altogether awesome.” The tradition of SYATP began in early 1990 in Burleson, Texas, when a group of teenagers were compelled to pray for their friends, schools and leaders. On Sept. 12, 1990, more than 45,000 students in four different states met around their school flagpoles. By Sept. 11, 1991, the numbers had grown to 1 million and had spread across the country. Now, more than 3 million students participate in all 50 states, along with more than 20 countries. The SYATP Web site says, “See You At The Pole is all about prayer. It’s about you coming together and laying aside all of the labels and groups for one day, to simply engage with God in prayer and connect with fellow Christians in unity around the flag pole.”