Where it began
When organizers in Texas first challenged young people to meet on a common day to begin their school years with a prayer, willing would-be participants struggled to find one another.
An organizer pointed out that virtually every school has a flagpole, which could serve as an easy-to-identify gathering place.
Also, one issue the teens prayed about was the spiritual health of our country and leaders, in obedience to Timothy 2:1-2. This is how praying for leaders and politicians became standard for the event.
Forming a circle around Old Glory, the private school children sang “Blessed Be Your Name” and bowed their heads as several juniors and seniors quietly orated an array of prayers.
“Lord, we pray for all of those in need,” said junior Cherish Fields, 16, with her schoolmates and teachers at her side.
Before the Prayer at the Flag Pole began, students sat down for breakfast with Mayor Jim Thomas and several other local government officials, including Liberty County Commissioner John McIver, who thanked the children for their efforts and quoted scripture from the Bible’s 1st Timothy, 2:1-2.
“First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,” McIver read. “For kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.”
“[By having this prayer] it lets us know how much you appreciate us and things we do as elected officials,” he said.
According to www.syatp.com, the “See You at the Flag Pole” tradition began in 1990 in the small town of Burleson, Texas, after a teenage prayer group on a weekend retreat led a chain of prayer circles at several of the area’s schools. They shared their story with thousands of students in the state and a ritual was born.
Soon after, more than 56,000 students on 1,200 campuses in Texas and in three other states held the first documented “See You at the Pole” prayer vigil in September 1990. Year after year, the event grew, becoming nationally and internationally known in 1991 as a day, usually on the fourth Wednesday in September, when school children gather to pray for their communities, leaders and government.
Amy Swindell, FCPA’s head of school, discussed the prayer day’s history with her students, focusing on why it is important to pray for the city and country they live in.
“Without God, we cannot be the nation He set aside for us to be,” Swindell said.