23 Sep Kasey Strickland Talks About SYATP
Today I woke up bright and early to meet my pastor John McComb, some junior high students Hannah, Kareem, and Charles, and Jon Zmikly for breakfast this morning. On the agenda today was the once a year “See You at the Pole” gathering. Every year about this time on a Wednesday morning students around the U.S. meet around their school flag pole for prayer. Usually, they meet to pray for their school, faculty, etc. for about 30 minutes prior to the normal school day. Well what a day it was.
After eating some breakfast tacos, myself and the other adults walked the kids over to the flag pole of Goodnight Middle School here in San Marcos. Keep in mind that this is a student-led gathering and youth leaders and other adults are strictly not allowed to facilitate the meeting, but can only be in the background. Now some of you may have been to one of these at your school or have seen pictures of this before where there are tons of good kids meeting together all at the same time for this event. You might think to yourself that it’s no big deal to join an already big group of kids and just blend in with the others. That wasn’t the case today.
As we walked up to the flag pole there wasn’t a single kiddo there. There was plenty of faculty and other junior highers walking around, but not a soul gathered for the event. Kind of intimidating to be the first there I guess, but not for these three. Hannah, Kareem, and Charles walked right up to the flag pole, put their backpacks down, and Hannah started the group off with prayer. She had prepared a list of different things to pray for, and without hesitation, kicked it off. As soon as she finished, Kareem picked up where she left off and began to pray. Likewise, Charles did the same thing when Kareem had finished his prayer.
And so you know, these prayers weren’t embarrassed little whispered prayers. Each one of them prayed with conviction, unashamed to be praying in public and surprisingly unconcerned with the students, faculty, and parents passing by. Three faithful prayer warriors unaffected by what some would say is counter cultural behavior to be exercising their faith in Christ Jesus in public.
As they continued, John M., Jon Z., and I had stepped back away from them and began to pray ourselves in a tight huddle. I closed my eyes at this time, and we began praying in turn for not only the school, but for the kids we brought there. In my mind, I had hoped for a better turnout and was certainly thankful that our group was managing on their own despite the lack of support from other students. As we prayed, something truly amazing began to happen (why I was surprised I’m not too sure). The power of the Holy Spirit began to engulf the place. Our prayers became more and more passionate as we took turns. I even began to shed tears in the presence of God as we prayed. It was like He was shining down on the group right then and there.
After praying for a while I opened my tear-soaked eyes to see a large group of students had joined our original three. Again Hannah facilitated the praying, and the others participated right along with them. Us men began to pray more. As we prayed I clearly noticed some of the group leaving and closed my eyes again as we continued to pray for the kids. Then, after a few more minutes and a few more prayers, I opened my eyes to see another group had joined, and this time they had all circled the flagpole holding hands and praying in turn – ALL of the students praying in turn and aloud with one another. At one point I even saw one of the kids laying hands on another in prayer, powerful prayer.
It was quite an amazing sight to see how the numbers had grown in such a short amount of time. As time passed, it was time for all to go to their classes. I can’t tell you how proud I am of Hannah, Kareem, and Charles. Could you imagine going to work and praying at your place of business or your school for a specific purpose and being the only one there? Could you imagine God calling you to do something for Him and having to do it all alone? Could you imagine doing the will of the Father and being singled out for others to see with a good chance of being ridiculed, persecuted, or made fun of for it?
I challenge all who read this to do as Hannah, Kareem, and Charles did. Will you make a stand for your God, your faith, and your beliefs? Despite public opinion, political correctness, and your own pride, will you carry your Cross for all to see? Three kids did today, and it may very well have changed the lives of many. These three knew one very important thing. They knew that even though they were alone and had to step out in faith that they weren’t really alone. They knew that Father God was right there with them the whole time, and He was. If you and I will stand firm on our faith, won’t God be there for us too? You bet He will!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord” – 2nd Timothy 1:7-8
“Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.” – Psalms 91:7
“The Lord says, ‘I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.'” – Psalms 91:14-16
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20 (The words of Jesus)
– Kasey Strickland