On the fourth Wednesday of every September, millions of students gather on their school campuses to pray before classes. Doug Clark, national field director for See You at the Pole (SYATP), says today's students are hungry for spiritual support and peace.
"We saw about a 200% increase in 2022 over the year before," he reports about SYATP participation. "We saw about a 35% increase this year. Students are faced with an unprecedented level of depression and discouragement. They are very tired and stressed by the tension and conflict that's in our culture right now."
Considering the figures – as well as the prayer and worship session that Asbury University students kept going for two weeks earlier this year and this month's worship event at Auburn University, where roughly 200 students were saved and baptized – Clark asserts that "Gen Z is hungry for God."
He says all of the meetings are student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led, but the true goal for SYATP is for the moment to become a movement. Indeed, the single-day event often provides the momentum students need to start praying for their campuses daily.
Though adults are not allowed to get directly involved, SYATP encourages them to strategically pray for the students and their schools during the event. Afterward, churches can host rallies and "adopt" local schools.