Campus gathers for prayer event

More than 100 Crusaders gathered around the flag pole in Vann Circle to participate in See You At the Pole — an annual student-initiated and student-led gathering encouraging young people to pray.

The event is focused on building unity within smaller communities to affect the world. About three million students across 20 countries participate in the annual event.

“We are blanketing the world, community and state with prayer,” said junior social work major Ashlee Driskell who helped lead. “It makes a huge difference because it’s not just our school—it’s schools all over the country.”

Participants were encouraged to pray for their school campus and its leadership, the local community, the United States and the world.

Junior nursing major Imani Innocent believes the entire church body is called to worship in prayer together.

Sophomores Bethany Franz, Brooke Goodman and Kasey Villareal pray together for themselves and fellow Crusaders during the gathering of students Wednesday morning. Photo by Kennan Neuman

Sophomores Bethany Franz, Brooke Goodman and Kasey Villareal pray together for themselves and fellow Crusaders during the gathering of students Wednesday morning. Photo by Kennan Neuman

“It doesn’t matter what denomination you are,” he said. “In the end, when we meet together, what matters is that we’re serving Jesus and he is Lord … Nothing else matters.

Faculty, staff and administrators were also present, including university President, Dr. Randy O’Rear.

“Students learn from leaders, and it shows us how important prayer is to the faculty,” Innocent said. Innocent led participants in the prayer for the nation.

“I am not an American citizen yet, so it was a privilege to lead students to pray for this country and what this nation means to me,” he said.

Innocent will officially become an American citizen today.

The student leadership team anticipates that students were impacted and walked away knowing their actions were not in vain.

“I hope they would take away the power of prayer,” Driskell said. “The Spirit was really dense, and it was powerful to pray with friends. When we all join together in prayer, it makes it that much more powerful and effective.”

The gathering, which happens the fourth Wednesday in September, began in 1990 with a small group of students in Burleson, Texas, who felt burdened to pray for their friends. It quickly led to a Texas initiative that challenged teenagers to meet at their local flag poles to pray simultaneously at 7 a.m.

“It’s amazing to see the harvest that has resulted from the relations major Sarah Wagner. “There are countless lives around the world that have been touched by this that we don’t even know about.”

The theme of See You At the Pole this year was based on 2 Kings 22:13, “Engage: Go and pray ….”

Leaders hope students will make prayer an intrinsic part of their lives.

“Jesus said ‘Ask and it should be given to you.’ I know that he knows what we need, but yet he asks us to ask,” Innocent said. “I think prayer is important because we get to talk to the Father. God is capable of listening to prayers. They’re not just showing up and leaving.”

Author: Crystal Donahue

A senior from Lago Vista, Texas, Crystal enjoys hanging out at the lake with friends, eating ice-pops, having conversations over hot chocolate with marshmallows, going on random road-trips and watching Gilmore Girls with her mom. She is double majoring in mass communication/journalism and Spanish. Post graduation, Crystal plans on getting her master's and working abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. Having served in various positions on The Bells, Crystal is now the editor-in-chief. She enjoys feature and sports writing.

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