“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 I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land” (II Chronicles 7:14).

This passage of scripture was the theme for this year’s See You At The Pole–a worldwide prayer rally that began in 1990. It comes with a very specific If / Then scenario.

IF My people…

  1. humble themselves;
  2. pray;
  3. seek My face;
  4. turn from their wicked ways (sin)…

THEN I will…

  1. hear from heaven;
  2. forgive their sins;
  3. heal their land.

As we arrived with our daughter Allie at her elementary school this morning, we gathered around the flagpoles. Soon there were thirty-five–children, parents, grandparents, pastors and community leaders–praying and singing in front of Riverbend Elementary. It was only 7 AM, and the sun was barely up, but our prayers and praises went before an ever-present God.

Allie welcoming everyone to 2019’s SYATP.

During the forty minutes we spent together, we thought earnestly about those around the globe who were also gathering (or had gathered) at 7 AM their local time. Some did so at the risk of their very lives–in persecuted countries where simply speaking the name of Jesus or gathering with other believers is against the law. We prayed for them.

During our time together, one attendee–our 21-year old son Ian–who happens to be a first responder and local volunteer fireman, prayed for all those in service–especially for first responders who often risk their lives to save those in danger or in dire situations. With tears streaming down, he prayed for the Claud Messer family who recently lost “Paw”–a local volunteer fireman himself who, last Friday on his way to an emergency, was tragically killed when his truck hit a logging vehicle. Ian lifted up this man’s family and those who worked with him–all who will miss him.

Claud “Paw” Messer

During our time together, one woman shared Proverbs 3:5, 6–“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your steps.” She reminded us in prayer that God directs our steps–thus, we’re to trust Him and keep walking, even in darkness.

During our time together, one teacher–whose husband was recently killed in an automobile accident, leaving her a young widow and their daughter fatherless–prayed in earnest, thanking God for the support she’s received from Riverbend Elementary and, more broadly, the community. She told her heavenly Father that, though painful, losing her husband has shown her the deep and abiding love of others, and she claimed the promise that–because of Jesus–she’ll be reunited with him one day, in heaven.

Ashley Clifton, RES teacher–with daughter Kaisley and her late husband Josh.

During our time together, one grandparent thanked God over and over for the many blessings we each receive simply because we live in a land of freedom–something we too often take for granted. She thanked Him for the beauty of the mountains and the wildlife we each enjoy here in western North Carolina. She prayed, too, for our President, who–though far from perfect–needs our petitions and our intercessions.

During our time together, one sweet little girl read Psalm 23 aloud–reminding each of us that God is our Good Shepherd and that, even in the valley of death, we need fear no evil, for His is always with us.

Macey Ferguson, pictured with sister Miley and mom Ashley, read Psalm 23.

During our time together, we sang “Jesus Loves Me” and “Amazing Grace”–our voices reminding God that we know He loves us–the Bible tells us so–and that we are grateful that He saved us–sinners though we are–by His grace.

During our time together, there’s no doubt that the scripture and prayers and praises and songs were music to God’s ears. Yes, how sweet the sound!

In those moments we spent together, I believe we did humble ourselves in God’s presence. We did pray. We did corporately and individually seek His face, and we did–if only (though I pray it’s not so) for those moments around the flagpole–turn from our wicked ways.

And I believe, if by faith alone, that–in those forty minutes–He heard us. He forgave us. And He allowed us to play a part in helping heal our land.

I don’t know if you participated in SYATP ’19, but if you did, I’d love to hear about your experience. (Share your story in the “Comments” section.) If you didn’t, won’t you consider it for next year? It’s always the fourth Wednesday in September–always at 7 AM local time.

If you do, then you’ll be very blessed!

After all, spending time with God always brings blessing–to the one basking in His presence and to all those whose lives are touched by them who carry His light..

A community basking in God’s presence!

For more information, please visit the “SYATP” official website — https://syatp.com