IMPERIAL — Junior and high school students sang songs and prayed Wednesday evening, September 18, at the See You at the Pole Pre-Pole Rally at Faith Assembly church in Imperial.
“Tonight is a rally designed to help students get ready for next week’s prayer event,” said Jeremiah Vik, executive director of Youth For Christ.
Students came from different schools in Imperial Valley. “They prayed for different regions in the Valley,” Vik said. Rallying around the theme “If …” which was taken from book of Chronicles in the Old Testament.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV)
Many of the students were connected with Campus Life, a ministry of Youth For Christ that reaches out to schools and church youth groups.
According to Vik, the pre-pole rally celebrates of the importance of prayer. Vik likened this event to the rally before a football game to get students excited. Students will meet at their school’s flagpoles next Wednesday, September 25, the actual See You at the Pole.
Every fourth Wednesday in September is designated for See You At The Pole. Students gather around their school’s flagpole at 7 a.m. and pray for 30-40 minutes before heading to class.
Even though SYATP is a student-initiated activity, some teachers, parents, youth pastors, and youth workers join in at the flagpoles.
“This is the 29th anniversary of See You at the Pole, a student-initiated and student-led event that started in Burleson, Texas, in 1990,” stated a press release from the National Network of Youth Ministries. “SYATP brings students together to intercede for their leaders, schools, and families, asking God to bring moral and spiritual awakening to their campuses and countries.”
According to Vik, SYATP is a great opportunity for students to make a bold stand for Jesus Christ and pray on their campus. It is also an opportunity to meet with other Christian students.
Cassidy Taylor, 14, is a freshman at Calvary Chapel Christian School in El Centro. She was one of the students who led prayer this evening at Faith Assembly. She readily accepted the challenge to lead in the prayer when a designated student wasn’t able to show up.
As students in the pews stood in silence, Taylor prayed that the people in Brawley would realize that there is a God that needs to be found.
“You need to talk to God, you need to read his Word, you need to have fellowship with others,” said Taylor. “You can talk to him about anything you’re going through.”
Diego Lopez, a youth intern at Gateway Church in Brawley, gave a message on the importance of persistence and humility in the prayer life of a student. He read Luke 18:1-8 from the Bible. It is the parable of a widow who sought help from a judge to avenge her. The widow’s persistence and humility eventually convinced the judge.
According to Lopez, he intercedes for students many of whom struggle in their respective campuses on issues such as pornography, sex, alcohol, drugs, and relationships.
“Students come seeking prayer. They seek for something to be done because they don’t want to do these things.” Praying helps us to remember that Jesus Christ loves us, and that he has good things in store for us, said Lopez.
And whenever a student asks for prayer, Lopez said, “I like to pray right there because what’s the point of waiting? You don’t know what’s going to happen — car crash or sickness. Its better to pray for them at that moment. There is no shame in that.”
According to Vik, SYATP is not a political statement. Rather, it is simply a gathering of students to pray for their school and families.