Monday, September 22, 2014

See you at the pole

Photo credit: Greg Leasure

A rain shower was not enough to keep Liberty University students from gathering around the flagpole to pray for America and its students Tuesday, Sept. 25 during See You at the Pole.

Liberty’s version of the nationwide event has been held on the steps of DeMoss Hall for the last six years, but due to the weather, the Grand Lobby of DeMoss Hall became the site of the meeting. Spiritual life directors (SLDs) and resident assistants (RAs) organized the event with the help of the Office of Student Leadership.

“See You at the Pole is a chance for us to meet together and pray for the students across the country who will be meeting tomorrow morning,” Associate Director of the SLDs Ryan Robertson said. “It’s important for us as a Christian university to pray for the others (that will be meeting) tomorrow.”

In previous years, students organized themselves according to their home state and prayed for everything from their state’s government to the students who would attend See You at the Pole the following morning. This year, they did things a little differently.

The campus praise band provided worship music before and after the main time of prayer, and the Student Government Association was also involved as Student Body President Chad Atchison joined in with various RAs and SLDs to lead students in praying for different things.

“The goal behind it is for the student leaders to pray over their hometowns and to have a mindset of the whole country growing closer to Christ, for them to come out and pray for all parts of the country with the hope that they catch a vision to reach their whole world for Christ,” Robertson said.

According to the Liberty Counsel, millions of students from around the country participate in See You at the Pole, and the event serves as a way for students to pray for their schools.

Robertson said that Liberty holds its See You at the Pole event the night before the rest of the country does because it is easier for students to attend.

Photo credit: Greg Leasure

Many students in attendance enjoy being a part of something happening all over America.

“It’s humbling,” Daniel Bolton, an RA and junior at Liberty, said. “It’s incredibly humbling to know that brothers and sisters I have never met before are all praying, and we’re all praying for the same cause, for the same motive, and to the same God.”

Also according to the Liberty Counsel, one goal of See You at the Pole is to keep prayer alive in schools as much as possible.

Jonathan Shbeeb, a Liberty student and SLD, said that he feels Liberty students are especially blessed because they can take advantage of the ability to pray in the classroom, something that many students do not get to experience.

“I went to Kent State University (in Ohio) for a year,” Shbeeb said. “There was zero prayer. It was really different. The people were more on edge, and not having prayer there, it changed the atmosphere.”

Arriving at Liberty in the fall of 2010, it did not take long for Shbeeb to notice the differences between a secular university and a Christian university like Liberty.

“It was amazing,” Shbeeb said. “My first sight on campus was people praying by the steps of the Hill, and I was in shock that this was happening at a college. It’s just a great thing.”

Daniel Bolton is accustomed to a Christian atmosphere like Liberty. He attended Christian school before college, and in a time when God is mostly left out of America’s public schools, he thinks that prayer is more important than ever.

“It brings in God,” Bolton said. “Instead of just leaving Him at home or at church, we should bring Him into our education, and we would be more rounded because of it.”

Even though it may not have been initiated by a teacher in a classroom, prayers from Lynchburg and from all across the country were offered up Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, and that is what See You at the Pole is all about.

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