Did you know that something amazing was birthed in a sleepy suburb of Ft. Worth Texas called Burleson? No, we're not talking about Kelly Clarkson. In fact, she was only 8 years old when the humble beginnings behind a worldwide movement took place one warm September evening.
They were just youth group kids – students who regularly attended youth group meetings and activities. One of their regular events was an annual retreat called "Disciple Now." During that weekend, God decided to break a few hearts. He placed on several students souls a burden for lost friends and a nation quickly turning its back on her Christian roots.
So what do you do when a God-sized burden is placed at your feet? Easy – give it back to God and ask Him to do something about it! So these faithful teens drove to their respective campuses, gathered around a flagpole, and simply prayed.
And God listened.
That was 1990, and within one year there were millions praying around the flag poles of their schools. And on September 26, there will be 3 million folks in 50 countries lifting their voices to God on behalf of those who don't know Him.
It's impossible to know how 17 years of See You at the Pole has impacted our nation and our world for Jesus, but it's also impossible to deny that it has. How do I know? Because I know what the Bible has to say about this mind boggling thing called prayer – the mystical yet practical honor that believers are given to have an audience with the God of the universe; the child-to-Father conversation that holds the delicate balance between connecting with our Daddy and trembling before our Maker.
Do you know who else needed prayer? Jesus Christ. Wouldn't you think that God's own Son was one Person who didn't need to carve out time alone to connect with the Father and make requests? After all, why would the Person we pray to need Someone to pray to as well?
Yet we read about it in plain language:
• After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray (Matthew 14:23)
• Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." (Matthew 26:36)
• Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Matthew 26:39)
• Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
And those are just a few examples. In fact, the portrait of Jesus' life has the Cross as the focal point, but prayer makes up the entire landscape.
How about your landscape? If Jesus needed prayer that much, what should that say to us? We need to daily declare our dependence on Him, we need daily bread and constant forgiveness, and we need to bring our burdens to the feet of the One who can do something about them. And as if those reasons weren't enough, we need to pray because it's really not an option. The Bible puts it in plain and simple terms:
"Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
This command from Scripture tells us that prayer is to be the background music in the soundtrack of our lives. A constant connection to the living and listening God who knows what we need even before we ask Him (Matthew 6:8). What's interesting is that the phrase for "without ceasing" literally means "without intermission." So in other words, our connection with God needs to be like an eternal play where the drama of our lives is unfolding under His direction without interruption.
So I have a suggestion. Let See You at the Pole be a reminder that every moment can be an amazing moment in your life called See You at the Throne!
Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resources for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.