Today marks the 32nd annual “See You At The Pole” global prayer gathering for students. At schools across America and around the world, children gathered around school flagpoles for a time of public worship and prayer.

The event takes place every year on the fourth Wednesday in September. And the purpose is simple — pray.

Students met together to lift up their friends, teachers, families, school, and nation in prayer. What makes it so special is that it is a student-organized and student-led event.

It began in 1990 as a grassroots movement of ten teenage students in Texas praying together at their school. The movement grew, and now 32 years later, it’s estimated that one million students around the world participate in See You At The Pole.

In the late 1990s, I was in high school, and I vividly remember our school’s Christian club leading the effort to invite students to pray at the event every September with posters on school walls and flyers passed out around campus.

This year, I stood alongside my kids (ages 9, 10, 12, and 13) as they gathered to participate in the event. It began with an older student welcoming everyone and inviting them to join her as she led the group in a time of worship on the guitar.

The group continued to grow in size as students arrived at school. After singing several worship songs, the student leader invited our large group to break out into smaller prayer groups and to pray together.

As I stood next to my 9-year-old and four of his friends, who had formed a prayer group, I was touched by their conversation and prayer. One of the kids asked if there were prayer requests, and they went around in a circle sharing their requests. One boy asked for prayer for his uncle, who didn’t know Jesus. Another student wanted to pray for his friend who was sick. And another sweet boy asked the group to pray for world peace.

After sharing what was on their hearts, all five boys bowed their heads and prayed out loud. It was so beautiful. And so powerful. And my heart was moved by the sincerity and goodness of their prayers.

I couldn’t help but think how much it must have pleased God to hear their prayers this morning. And the prayers of millions of other students just like them all around the world.

Thank God for See You At The Pole. America’s schools and school children need God now more than ever. There is so much to be praying about for our schools, our communities, our country and the world.

Thankfully, in America today, the right to pray in school is still a freedom protected by the U.S. Constitution. Our kids can legally gather together at school any day to pray.

See You At The Pole is important because it gives kids an opportunity to live their faith out boldly and publicly. It’s an opportunity for them to be a witness to their friends. And it’s a reminder that God’s authority over all things doesn’t stop at the school’s property line. Amen!

Focus on the Family is pleased to be a supporting ministry to See You At The Pole.