Come to the Flagpole and Pray
“If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me.” Jeremiah 29:13
When Jesus asked, “What is the most important commandment,” His answer began, “You must love the LORD your God will all of your heart.” Not part, or half, or even most….but wholehearted! This means 100 percent.
Upper Grade See You at the Pole Event
For over 30 years, See You at the Pole has been about one simple act: prayer. It’s still about prayer… and students uniting together in prayer before God interceding for their generation. See You at the Pole is an annual international gathering of thousands of Christian students at school flagpoles, churches, and the internet for the purposes of worship and prayer. It is student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led. This event has been taking place annually since 1990 on the fourth Wednesday of each September and consists of students running from elementary school to college, all gathering together in prayer.
GDA’s Key Club Led the Prayer Event
This year Gloria Deo Academy upper grade students and staff met on Wednesday, September 27th and Thursday, September 28th at the Golden Campus flagpole. The Key Club at GDA organized this year’s event. The students that led prayer and worship at the flagpole on September 27th were: Erika Hilpert (Senior), Ellie Garrett (Senior), Owen Schafer (Junior), Harlee Hay (Sophomore), and McKenna Hay (Sophomore). GDA school staff, faculty, and students were all in attendance.
2023 See You at the Pole Theme
During this year’s 34th annual See You at the Pole event, the theme centered around Jeremiah 29:13. Doug Clark, national field director for the National Network of Youth Ministries, which is connected with SYATP, discussed the “special meaning” of the verse.
In the chapter of Jeremiah, Clark noted that people tend to cite the verse Jeremiah 29:11, which states: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“But in the context of that, God says through Jeremiah, ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart,’” Clark said, quoting verse 23.
He further explained that he interpreted the verse as a condition to God’s promise in verse 11 about the future.
“But in the context, there’s a question: Are you seeking me with your whole heart?” Clark said. “So, the theme this year is ‘wholehearted.’ We want to challenge students to see God with their whole hearts.”
See You at the Pole History
The See You at the Pole event began in 1990 in Burleson, Texas, when a youth group of school teenagers gathered to pray for several schools in their community. During a ministry retreat, the teens were led to pray at and for several local schools. They shared the story of their profound experience at a youth conference that summer, impacting thousands of other students. In September of 1990, more than 56,000 teens on 1,200 campuses participated in the first See You at the Pole event. The movement has continued to grow and is now an international event, taking place in many countries around the world. Over the years, Clark says that the prayer movement is “building momentum,” as seen in an increase of people requesting resources both this year and last year.
See You at the Pole is not just a designated date, but such a sweet time for all students to come together for prayer for our school, our city, our state, and our nation. Our schools, cities, states, and country need prayer! In the U.S., school-sponsored prayers in public schools have been found unconstitutional, but prayers organized by students themselves are allowed and protected by free speech rights. We are grateful for the privilege to gather and pray in our country. This annual event is not only a reminder of our constitutional liberty of free speech, but also the wonderful privilege students and teachers alike share in the free exercise of religious belief in accordance with constitutional guidelines.
Pray & Connect
Who do Christians turn to when we need help? When we need encouragement, refreshment, or support? God! Prayer doesn’t only connect us with the One who created us, but prayer also connects us with other believers. Prayer is powerful and life changing. Joining in prayer and praise with other believers, who are like-minded in faith, will encourage and lift up our hearts and souls. Gloria Deo Academy encourages students and families to spend time praying, at any point in the day, for their schools, families, churches, local communities, and nations. God is always near when we need Him. Prayer should be an integral part of each of our daily lives as a Christian. Prayer is the bridge that connects us to Him.
Called to Influence & Make an Impact for the Lord
Our lost world needs to see the LIGHT! Your lost friends and family need Jesus in their lives. Prayer is something that every Christian can do for our lost world. As Christians, we have the ultimate privilege and duty to lead others to Him. Pray that He fills the God-shaped void in their hearts with Him. The boldness of your witness reflects the condition of your heart. Let God use you and your friends as you reflect Jesus on your school campus, whether you are a student in a public, private, homeschool or Christian school. When your heart is focused on honoring Him, your enthusiasm will be contagious! Begin an awakening on your school campus that leads others to God. It begins in your heart. Continue in prayer as you grow in your relationship with God. Come to the flagpole and pray.
“THIS SHOULD BE THE MOTTO OF EVERY FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST. NO MATTER
HOW DARK AND HOPELESS A SITUATION MIGHT SEEM, NEVER STOP PRAYING!”
– Billy Graham
Written by Stephanie Gilbert, GDA Upper School Teacher
Photos by GDA Golden T/Th Upper Grade Photography Student, Grant Parnell