O, Say, Can You Pray?

A grass-roots ritual by young Christians tests church-and-state borders

Blake Langhofer was the first to arrive. It was 6:40 a.m., and a sickle moon still hung in the dark sky over Maize High School near Wichita, Kans. In sandals and shorts, Blake, 16, approached his school's blue flagpole. He leaned forward, placed his hands on it and bowed his head. Soon he was joined by four friends, all jeans-clad and smelling sweetly of soap and shampoo. They formed a circle, and someone entreated the Lord aloud: "I pray you do wonders through the pole and let your wonders show through the pole." First a trickle, then dozens of students arrived;...

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