Students start day in prayer

Students join hands at the flagpole on the Oval Wednesday as part of See You at the Pole. Participants prayed for local and national governments.

Students join hands at the flagpole on the Oval Wednesday as part of ‘See You at the Pole.’ Participants prayed for local and national governments.

Luke Taylor

As the sun was coming up early Wednesday morning, students from the Baptist Student Union and other campus Christian organizations came together around the oval flagpole in prayer.

The time was 7 a.m., and the occasion was “See You at the Pole,” an annual Christian event that began in 1990, according to barnabasinstitute.org. Worldwide, students gather around their school’s flagpole and pray for their local and national governments.

Prayer was for “the nation, schools and that the leaders of this country would walk down the right path,” said Joe Blaylock, mathematics senior, “and that we as Christians would show them God’s love.”

Back to Basics

SYATP was in a less-formalized setting this year for the BSU students. In the past the BSU organized the event, but this year other campus Christian groups took on that responsibility.

This year, the BSU wanted their SYATP experience to more closely resemble the occasion’s early years.

“It was just a group of students,” said BSU Director Jon Smith of SYATP’s beginnings. “They gathered to pray; that was it. And it just exploded across the country.”

Smith said churches and groups across the country have SYATP faculty and administrators, as well as pre-pole services and “Saw You at the Pole” on Wednesday nights.

“I’m not trying to dis’ that,” Smith said. “There is something beautiful about simplifying the whole thing.”

‘A great way to start off the day’

To open the event, a guitarist performed “The Famous One” and students sang along. After prayer began, students were still showing up and joining in. While they prayed, their breath could be seen in the air on the chilly morning.

As students from the BSU, Koinonia, Campus Crusade for Christ, College Heights College Group and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes prayed, they asked for strength for our president, that our politicians will be drawn to God instead of greed or ambition and that people would cross boundaries.

The entire prayer meeting lasted almost an hour. By the time they were done, the dew had dried and the sun was fully shining over the campus.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for several people to come together,” said Kevin Zimmerman, elementary education senior. “It’s to focus and a great way to start off the day.”

Unity

“The value of SYATP for BSU is not gathering BSU students to pray,” said Smith. “It’s coming together to unite.”

Smith said the event demonstrates a unity on campus to students and the community.

“Prayer is important,” he said, “[but] we can pray anytime; we can’t always pray together.”