There are many sights, sounds, and events that indicate the start of the academic year. For some, it might be back-to-school sales, or the long-awaited arrival of pumpkin-spiced lattes. For us at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, every fall, we kick off the year with See You At The Pole (SYATP)!

SYATP was on Wednesday, September 28th, and is an annual, international day of prayer where students gather at their school’s flagpoles to pray over their schools, communities, and nation. This year, carrying the conviction and faith in the power of prayer, over 50 believers and alumni from various fellowships gathered at 7am at Brower dining hall, since we don’t have an easily accessible flagpole on campus.

For two hours, we lifted our voices in worship and intercession, crying out to the Lord for the broken and the lost. We sang, we wept, we knelt, we laughed — all in faithful and hopeful expectation of campus-wide healing and revival at Rutgers. Along the way, God gave us small encouragements: a Rutgers custodial staff member who stopped to join us on her way to work, a new local pastor who visited after hearing about SYATP through an alumnus and the amplified sound of our voices, which could apparently be heard several blocks away despite the chilly, morning temperatures.

This year’s national theme for SYATP was “We Cry Out”, and the reference verses were Psalm 24:3-6:

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?

    And who shall stand in his holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

    who does not lift up his soul to what is false

    and does not swear deceitfully.

He will receive blessing from the Lord

    and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Such is the generation of those who seek him,

    who seek the face of the God of Jacob. (ESV)

In striving to be a “generation of those who seek him”, we prayed that the heart of prayer would continue to grow at Rutgers and that we would become a university known, not for its party culture, but for its culture of prayer and godly love.

The Lord is doing mighty things, and we’re excited to see where He leads Rutgers this year! Below are some photos that were taken at SYATP 2016:

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