What if we…

EDITORS NOTE: Zac McDonald is the Youth Pastor at State College Assembly of God. Last year, his students met at school every Tuesday and Thursday for prayer. Zac wrote this post the day before SYATP 2011. He offers some challenging thoughts on SYATP and it’s implications beyond the pole. -Lee


Yes, I will be at the pole to support our students tomorrow.  I live in a community where I am unable to participate but will stand on the sidelines, joining them in prayer.  Each September I wrestle with See You At The Pole, and I’ve had many conversations with friends in youth ministry that struggle as well.
Here are some of my questions and struggles….

What if we as leaders were to teach a generation that prayer is more than an event? It is a lifestyle.  Prayer is not what we do but rather how we should live.  Do we spend as much time hyping the lifestyle as we do the event?  One is much easier than the other because it is short-term.

What if we were to teach a generation that motive is key in Matthew 6:5 & 6?  Matthew 6:5 & 6 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

What if we were to teach a generation that praying at the pole is not a public declaration of our faith?  That public declaration should be water baptism.

What if we were to teach a generation boldness, to lay hands on the sick, to ask the Lord to daily perform signs and wonders in the hallways, to pray for friends one on one as they get off of the bus, in the classroom and as they eat lunch together?

What is this generation of lost students thinking?  One day a year they get off of the bus, and a group of students are standing in a circle around the flagpole.  Why the flagpole?  Why a closed circle?  Why one day a year?

What if we were to teach a generation that there is more to prayer than 20 minutes of worship, announcements, small group discussions, wrapped up by 15 minutes of prayer around the pole?

What if we were to remind a generation of 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

As we gather around the pole tomorrow across this nation, I will be praying… “Lord, teach us how to pray”.