You’ll have to get up early today to get a jump on Midlothian students.

Midlothian high school students gathered at 7:45 a.m. to pray for their schools, community, country, classmates and even their teachers as part of See You At The Pole, a national prayer observance led by local youth.

“I’ve been doing this since I was in the seventh grade,” said Racquel Knight, a junior at Midlothian High School. “We pray for our schools, our teachers, our parents and our friends.”

Knight attended a planning meeting Sunday night at First Baptist Church Midlothian to coordinate today’s event.

Knight said the day will start with music and praise choruses.

“That will probably last about 10-minutes and draw us together,” she said. “We will then break up into smaller groups and pray for about 10- to 15-minutes. We’ll wrap up with a song.”

MHS topped 2,000 students this year and as with any school with that many kids there are problems, fears, victories and joy. Students are also faced with a multitude of decisions and pressures that can divide and draw them away from how they would normally act.

“Prayer works,” Knight said. “During the moment of silence we have each day, I pray for the people I know and the things I face. And yes, I pray on test days.”

Students will circle all flagpoles at Midlothian Independent School District campuses this morning at the same time for a moment of silent prayer and corporate prayer.

The community is being asked to show up at Kimmel Park at 6:30 tonight for See You At The Park a similar program of praying for the community and country.

Hot dogs and drinks will be followed by music and a brief service.

SYATP points out it is not illegal to pray in school, only for school representatives to lead prayer services.

Midlothian has a tradition of young people showing up for the student-initiated and student-led movement that started in the Burleson in 1990. Burleson started with just one youth group, who met at night at several schools around Burleson during a weekend retreat.

“Gather. Unite. Pray. Come Together” is the theme for See You at the Pole this year.

The theme comes from John 17: 20-23, which says, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

In 2006, more than 2 million teenagers met for See You at the Pole in all 50 states. Internationally, reports came in from countries on six continents, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Germany, Ghana, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Malaysia, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Scotland, and South Africa.

Participants don’t have to pay anything to participate in See You at the Pole.

“And we want to make sure that anyone running a program in the summer has something to hand out, if they need it,” noted Billy Beacham, president of Student Discipleship Ministries in Burleson, Texas, which creates all the promotional material for SYATP. “The resources are available for those who want them.”

Everything necessary for students to plan and promote a successful SYATP is available free at www.syatp.com.

See You at the Pole is now held each year on the fourth Wednesday of September. This change from its earlier years was in response to the needs of students to have more time to organize See You at the Pole after the school year begins.