USA (MNN) — There’s an annual event in the U.S. called “See You at the Pole” (SYATP).
Each year in September, students gather around their school’s flagpole before class to pray. They lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, and nation to God.
One of Crossroad Bible Institute’s cohorts, Christian Library International (CLI) is holding a similar event tomorrow morning.
CLI’s second annual “Prayer at the Prison Gate” will bring together prison chaplains, corrections officers, volunteers, and inmates’ families. This eclectic mix of prayer warriors will lift up the needs of inmates, victims of crime, and prison staff for one hour at various locations throughout the nation.
Crossroad president Dr. David Schuringa says both SYTP and Prayer at the Prison Gate are public examples of solidarity.
“You have different demographics…in a symbolic way coming together to unite your hearts together for a common cause,” he explains.
Last year in Bryan, TX, Mary Lou Nettles organized a diverse group of 20 prayer warriors, including the facility’s chaplain and several correctional officers, to pray outside Brazos County Detention Center.
Nettles said that she could feel a strong presence of the Lord’s Spirit during the hour of prayer.
“We prayed that God would have the mercy to rehabilitate these inmates so that they would lead productive lives on the outside,” said Nettles.
“Salvation is the most important part. If you have salvation, that changes your heart, and you want to be a more productive person.”
Schuringa says by gathering groups outside prisons throughout the country, “Prayer at the Prison Gate” does two things. First, it shows inmates a living witness.
“We could [pray] at home or in our churches, but they’re bringing the prayer service right to the prison gate,” says Schuringa.
Secondly, it reminds communities about the people inside prison walls.
“The Bible says to remember those in prison. They are the forgotten ones, and the average person doesn’t think about people in prison,” Schuringa states.
To find a “Prayer at the Prison Gate” event near you, contact CLI’s Jeremy Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-212-8122.
If you can’t make it to a “Prayer at the Prison Gate” event, or if there are none in your community, set an alarm on your watch or phone.
“At 10 a.m. on Saturday morning…pray for the effectiveness of these prayer vigils,” suggests Schuringa.
Christian Library International serves adult and youth prison inmates by providing Christian books, Bibles, CDs, and DVDs to prisons, jails, and youth detention centers.
“As they deliver these books and Bibles and religious materials into the prisons, they also provide the people in prison with enrollment forms from Crossroad Bible Institute,” says Schuringa, explaining the partnership between CBI and CLI. Groups like CLI enjoy seeing their efforts supplemented by CBI courses, he adds.