“Joyful Intercessors” welcomed with prayer

Salvationists from across the territory arrived in scores to welcome the “Joyful Intercessors” session to the College for Officer Training (CFOT) at a distinctive Cadets’ Welcome meeting. The theme “Intersession” was portrayed in song, prayer and a three-part message by Commissioner Carol Seiler.

Territorial Candidates’ Secretary Major Tricia Taube introduced the 32 cadets one-by-one as they came forward to pray with their divisional leaders. During this more subdued but powerful presentation, the congregation quietly prayed for each cadet, holding their applause. But when Lt. Colonel Ralph Bukiewicz, territorial secretary for personnel, officially welcomed the new cadets the crowd erupted. The colonel also took a moment to recognize Dr. Harold Burgmayer on his debut performance as Chicago Staff Bandmaster.

Commissioner Carol Seiler opened her message with a focus on the joy of intercessionary prayer. “It’s a privilege to take others to the Lord in prayer,” she said. She continued, “It’s an opportunity to do for others what they can’t do on their own, until they can.”

In her introduction of the session, CFOT Principal Major Cheri Hobbins acknowledged 22 first-generation Salvationists, a great array of work backgrounds from teachers to counselors and even one dirt-mover, and many family units—with 22 children and one on the way. “An explosion of children has hit the campus!” Major Hobbins declared. She also introduced the session standard bearer, Cadet Donna Thammavongsa.

After a time of worship by the CFOT praise team, the commissioner continued with the importance of persistent intercession, citing the story of Moses, who wouldn’t give up praying for the Israelites.

An upbeat “How Can I Keep from Singing” by a united cadet chorus followed a poignant testimony by Cadet Clayton Bledsoe, who found the Lord—and his sobriety—at an adult rehabilitation center before hearing his call to officership.

Commissioner Seiler wrapped up her message pointing to the ultimate intercessor, Jesus, who is the only one able to allow us to enter into the presence of a holy God. During a time of response as the congregation sang “Somebody Prayed for Me,” many people went forward to pray with each other and the new cadets, putting into practice the discipline of interceding for one another.

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