First off, here is a brief recap of how the MYATP prayer initiative works. On the four Sundays prior to a national election, Christians around the country meet at the flagpoles of their local city halls, county courthouses or state capitols. There they fellowship and pray for our country, government, leaders and the coming election, as well as for revival and awakening. At the conclusion of the 4th Sunday, the call changes from Meet You at the Pole to Meet You at the Polls, where we – as individuals – go on Election Day to cast our ballots for righteous men and women. Though participants may wish to gather together on Election Day to pray or watch election returns, we do not schedule meetings at local polling places.
The Covid situation changes from one day and one locality to the next. We therefore advise MYATP participants to comply with local, state and federal guidelines regarding masks and social distancing. Be respectful, deferential and Christ-like towards all!
It is up to the individual leaders of each community gathering to decide how their meetings will be conducted, but here are some comments and a template to help get you started.
Day & Time
Meetings should be held on Sunday because that is regarded as “The Lord’s Day,” and most persons are available. Parking is usually free and easy to find, traffic is light, public buildings are closed and public spaces are generally open.
Meetings should commence around 3 PM to allow time for church members to have lunch, change clothes and travel to the meeting place. The length of the meetings may vary, but 1-1½ hours should allow enough time to cover the prayer points. Try not to go much beyond that range, as the elderly, infirm, disabled and children may find it difficult to remain in front of a flagpole for an extended period of time, especially if the weather is not cooperative.
Speaking of the weather, assemblies should be held rain or shine. (The greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward; see Hebrews 11:35.) If the weather is so bad as to make the meeting impossible, move to an indoor location. If you should have to cancel a meeting, ask people to pray at home or in their churches and then pick right back up the next week.
Because our desire is to intercede with God on behalf of our country, leaders and election, it is appropriate that we assemble at the seat of the controlling political jurisdiction in our communities. This may be a city hall, county courthouse or state capitol. Ideally, we should meet at the flagpole, as the American flag is symbolic of our republic. However, you might find that the courthouse sits on the curb, or that there is already an event scheduled for that area.
Therefore, feel free to assemble at an outdoor civic location better suited for the gathering. Possible alternate venues might include a veteran’s memorial, town square or post office. If you wind up having to meet elsewhere, post a message on the flagpole(s) in front of your city hall and/or courthouse directing persons to the alternate site in case they didn’t get the message.
If you expect a large number of people to turn out for your gatherings, you might want to alert the local police department regarding your intentions. (The authorities should know that nothing is amiss if a large number of people suddenly appear in front of a public building.) Also check to see if there is already an event scheduled for that area. Generally speaking, you should not need any sort of permit as you won’t be in the street or impeding access to public buildings or facilities, but verify that ahead of time. Remember that our basic Constitutional rights guarantee us the freedoms of speech, religion and assembly.
If your entire church expects to show up, you might wish to have a PA (public address) system on hand. (Be sure to check the area around the flagpole ahead of time to see if there is an electrical outlet available!) You will probably require permission to use amplification. If so, request permission as far in advance as possible. If you are not granted a permit, don’t worry about it. Move forward with your plans and distribute Prayer Point handouts (which you should bring regardless) so that those in the back can follow along. (Prayer points will be available here at GovPray for you to download.)
Remember that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12) Therefore, it would be a very good idea to visit your community flagpole before the first meeting and spend an hour or so in prayer, consecrating the ground and planting hedges of protection around the venue, your people and the MYATP movement.
We do not anticipate any problems, but we live in a broken world and we know that the enemy prowls about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
If you get a positive response to your outreach and think you might draw a decent crowd, it would not be a bad idea to have one or two law enforcement officials on hand. (You may even have officers in your church who would be willing to assume this responsibility.) Additionally, there are often police stations inside of – or adjacent to – city halls and county courthouses. Let the police know the time and place of your meetings, and ask them if they would be willing to have some officers keep an eye on things. Given the days in which we live, making provision for security is a responsible and prudent thing to do; your local law enforcement will appreciate the heads up.
MYATP Prayer Meeting Leaders
As priests unto the most high God, every Christian is divinely qualified to approach the Father. However, not every person is gifted in public speaking, or comfortable doing so. Therefore, it would be best to select gifted, capable men and women using 1 Timothy 3 as a guide.
An overseer, then, must be above reproach . . . temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity . . . and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.– 1 Timothy 3:2-7
Your meeting leaders may be lay people; it is certainly not necessary for clergy to fill this role. If you have multiple churches participating, it would be nice to have persons from different churches lead, and for the leadership to change each week.
Elected Officials & Candidates for Office
Feel free to invite elected officials, judges and law enforcement officers join you for your meetings so that the assembled crowd can pray for them. This would not necessarily constitute approval of their politics or satisfaction with their governance, but it would enable your prayer warriors to bestow a godly blessing upon them.
This similarly applies to any other leaders who you may invite or just happen to show up. We cannot endorse them at a MYATP gathering, but we can thank them for their service and pray over them for humility, wisdom and guidance, and that they would thirst for righteousness and truth. We should also ask God to bless them and their families in Jesus’ Name.
After Election Day, send a wrap-up email to your prayer warriors thanking them for their willingness to engage the enemy on behalf of our God and country. Encourage them to remain active as change agents in our society both through prayer as well as ministry. You will find a list of worthy suggestions on the Ministry Partners page.
The MYATP initiative repeats every two years when we have a national election. It is important that you retain your contacts so that we can hit the ground running in the next election. Each cycle should generate more participants, kingdom-focused churches and Spirit-filled enthusiasm. (In addition to national elections, it is possible that MYATP gatherings or GovPray prayer initiatives might also be called during times of national prayer or crisis.)
Sample Meeting Template
Though you are welcome to conduct your prayer meetings as you wish, the following agenda from one of our 2018 MYATP gatherings might be helpful. This schedule runs 75-90 minutes.
Opening Prayer & Welcome (10 min)
Person 1: Introduction, opening prayer & comments
- Mention that this is not a political rally, it is a time for us to come before our Father. We are here to exalt His Name and pray based on His Word in the power of Christ’s Blood.
- Invite your prayer warriors to spend a few minutes introducing themselves to people they don’t know.
Worship (10-15 min)
Person 2: Lead in songs and worship, focusing on praise and gratitude.
Praying through 2 Chronicles 7:14 (15 min)
Person 1: Invite them to kneel, sit, stand or raise their hands as we cry out to God.
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, forgive their sin and heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14
Humbly confess our sins, both personal as well as the sins of the church and our country.
Sincerely repent of those sins, turning from our wicked ways.
Fervently pray that God would revive our Church, awaken our people and heal our land.
In faith, thank the Father for hearing our prayers and granting our requests!
Praying through this week’s Prayer Points (30-40 min)
Break up into small groups, hopefully with people you don’t know.
Person 3: Introduces the following points, allowing 5-10 minutes for each one.
- For our law enforcement personnel and their families, and that God would heal the rift between our law enforcers and our citizens – that both sides would seek common ground in a spirit of godly compassion and repentance.
- For our military, security and intelligence agencies and their families.
- That godly men and women would prevail in the coming election, and for the safety and well-being of their families.
- That we would grow to better understand and undertake our roles and responsibilities as duel citizens of America and the Kingdom of God.
Closing Song, Announcements & Prayer (10 min)
Person 2: Closing song
Person 1: Final announcements
- Our next meeting will be at 3PM next Sunday
- Bring a loaf and fish to the next meeting (two friends). Pastors should bring a basketful!
- Challenge everyone to spend 15 minutes each day over the coming week to pray for our law enforcement, military, security and intelligence personnel and their families; for the coming election and for next week’s meeting.
- Collect names and emails from people who are interested in receiving future MYATP communications, or who may be interested in becoming involved in future community activities. (Have a sign-up sheet and pens ready so they can do this.)
Person 3: Closing Prayer
Please take a picture of your gathering and email it to 2020@GovPray.com so we can post it!
After your meeting . . .
Using the names collected at the meeting, email your prayer warriors and other interested parties on Monday or Tuesday.
- Thank them for coming and remind them to pray each day for that week’s prayer points
- Encourage them to bring a loaf and a fish (two friends who haven’t yet attended a MYATP gathering), or a basketful if they are able to do so!
- Ask them to publicize the gatherings on their social media, at the church or anywhere else they have influence or an audience.
At the close of Meeting 4 . . .
you might invite your participants to remain for a celebration of the Lord’s Supper, welcome to all those who profess Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Transitioning from Pole to Polls . . .
At the conclusion of the last gathering (the Sunday before the election), tell everyone that Meet You at the P-O-L-E is now switching to Meet You at the P-O-L-L-S. It is not suggested that you go as a group, but it is imperative that every believer votes his conscience, guided by the Spirit.
Ask your prayer warriors to encourage their Christian friends to go vote biblically, and to help them get to the polls if necessary. Also encourage everyone to pray and fast on Election Day. It is possible that some persons will wish to host election night watch parties – that’s perfectly fine, but those parties will not be considered MYATP-related events.
If you find out about Meet You at the Polls too late to conduct all four Sunday meetings, don’t let that stop you! Start with the next available Sunday and move forward. Even if you are the only person praying at your flagpole, take joy in the fact that you were able to join with fellow believers throughout the country as we lifted up our nation in prayer.
The vast majority of persons showing up at your flagpole will be nervous. This is definitely out of our comfort zone! Relax in the knowledge that few (if any) will have done this before, so everyone will figure it out together. Each Sunday will get easier.
This is an opportunity to get to know brothers and sisters from other churches. Be proactive in breaking down racial, cultural and denominational barriers as we seek unity in the Body of Christ. Those unfamiliar people aren’t strangers, they’re simply family members you haven’t yet met!
Prayer warriors can be invited to pray individually, to break up into groups, or to engage in corporate prayer as led by the leader. It is recommended that you bring copies of each Sunday’s prayer agenda to hand out to everyone. This will also serve as a reminder for them to pray throughout the week.
Feel free to have musicians lead in singing, but choose songs that are well-known and easily sung. If possible, have a different church lead in worship each Sunday. Speakers are generally discouraged as they tend to take up a lot of time. Politicians should not speak or serve as MYATP leaders unless they accept and adhere to the MYATP Statement of Faith. Our focus should be on prayer, repentance and worship, not public speaking
Though voter registration should be encouraged in your church in the months leading up to the MYATP meetings, it will be too late to register voters by the time the meetings begin.
Encourage your prayer warriors to return to the next meeting and ask them to bring a loaf and a fish (two friends who haven’t yet attended one of the meetings). Have everyone collect their trash so that the site will be left cleaner than it was before the prayer meeting began.
Pass around a sign-up sheet for people to give you their names and email addresses (if they feel comfortable doing so). It will be good to have a list of the prayer warriors in your community, and will also enable you to reach them in case you need to make a last-minute announcement.
Finally, do not despise the day of small beginnings! If you expect 100 people and only three show up, praise God for those three and move forward in faith, knowing that it is God who brings the increase. 32,000 men answered Gideon’s call to fight against the Midianites, but God sent 31,700 of them home. Our success lies not in numbers, but in the strength of the Lord.
Be blessed in the Name of Jesus and have a great time!