As models of prayer for bishops, Pope Francis cited Abraham and Moses, who argued with God to dissuade him from destroying their sinful people.
“A man who lacks the courage to argue with God on behalf of his people cannot be a bishop,” the Pope said.
The intercessor takes the side of man against God. God is looking for reasons to bless and forgive his people. The intercessor stands in the gap and argues with God on behalf of his people. This person prays this way because they see themselves as just as sinful as the people for whom they pray.
St Catherine believed that her sins were the cause of the great western schism. When God wanted to throw thunder bolts of judgments against the Church. St Catherine argued with God why he ought to bless the Church rather than condemn it. St Catherine prayed I am one of them if you destroy them you destroy me. God was pleased with Catherine prayer and God’s judgments turned to blessing instead.
When someone has the heart of God they pray with holy boldness. The power of prayer lies in taking man side against God. The paradox is this, when we pray this way we are ultimately taking the side of God because Mercy is the greatest attribute of God.