What if we really believed that intercession is more about fulfilling our destiny than completing some kind of Christian obligation? What if we believed that praying for others is akin to embarking on the greatest adventure of all, rather than living up to some nebulous spiritual standard? What if, instead of racking up successes or cataloguing our failures, we lived in a state of awe that the Lord of the universe has invited us to join Him in the dance of life? (43)
Tricia McCary Rhodes shares this vision of intercession with readers in Intimate Intercession. She defines intercession as "to stand in the gap between God and needy people, our hearts bonded to theirs as we plead their cases in prayer, regardless of what they have done or haven't done to deserve His intervention." (8)
After defining intercession, Rhodes discusses the calling to be an intercessor, the relationship between God and the intercessor, the importance of faith, the role of obstacles, abiding in Christ as the root of successful intercession, and the heavenly vision. Rhodes uses personal anecdotes, stories, and quotations to get her message across in a friendly conversational style. She ends each chapter with a biblical prayer and a prayer by a Christian leader, such as Saint Patrick, Mother Theresa, or Charles Wesley.
Rhodes offers much wisdom and encouragement on intercession. However, a few times her using her own stories comes across as almost "holier-than-thou," such as one account where God revealed to her how He sees a friend of hers that she considered not spiritually balanced. God showed her a vision of how differently He sees her friend. When she shared with her friend what God had shown her, their relationship was healed. Rhodes goes on, "Intercession that does not spring from this kind of intimacy with God will lack both power and joy." (56) Her points are good and true, but the average reader will think, "Yeah, like God shows me this type of thing. I might as well as hang it up."
The book may appeal more to charismatic reader than to others because of its emphasis on spiritual warfare, but it offers many important ideas to ponder. I especially enjoyed the biblical and historical prayers she includes. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
So what is the point of intercession, anyway? Author Tricia Rhodes defines intercession in vivid terms-"to stand in the gap between God and needy people, our hearts bonded to theirs as we plead their case in prayer, regardless of what they have done or haven't done to deserve God's intervention." Moses did it and saved the Israelites from God's wrath. Stephen interceded for those who stoned him. Paul prayed for countless Christians and non-believers alike. And we see intercession most extravagantly displayed through Jesus Christ, who walked the earth a friend of sinners.
Tricia declares, "We are never more like Christ than when we connect with others in their pain or their sin and choose to bear their burdens in prayer. Intercession is simple, yet profound." Offering easy-to-grasp tools and truths, Intimate Intercession will show the reader how to know and to pray God's heart. Each chapter is divided into segments that provide a biblical basis, inspirational thoughts, and personal devotional exercises that will engage the reader both in connecting with God and experiencing intimacy with Him.