Teachus

       Passion, that's the first word that comes to mind when I think of Sister Antoinette Banks. Toni, as she is affectionately known, is the author of "Bridging Gaps. Teaching The Nations To Pray." In this short but power packed book, she has not only written about prayer but her personal passion for prayer comes through in every page. The book, not only teaches the nuts and bolts of how to become an effective prayer warrior, but it also exudes the author's heart for intercession. Called by God to stand in the gap for her church, her family, her community and the nation, Sister Toni knows first hand what it means to see the prayers of the righteous avail.

       In her vocation, Sister Toni works as a Program Specialist for the Lutheran Metropolitan Housing Authority in Toledo, Ohio, but she also knows that the most important part of her job is to intercede. She has seen what the power of prayer can do to bring about much needed change within a community. As she and a group of intercessors felt led by God to start a prayer walk in an inner city ten years ago, the group is finally seeing the fruit of their labor. They are watching a community be transformed right before their eyes. They have experienced the joy of seeing a neighborhood once showing the effects of poverty, drugs and high crime, be restored. The local police have reported that the crime rate has declined, along with the homes and businesses being developed. "We would go back each year and we saw renovation taking place, we literally watched the climate of the community change," said Sister Toni. Others may not know what really happened, but this group of prayer warriors believe with all their heart, that it is because of prayer that they have been blessed to see these changes. They know that the change must first come from within the hearts of the individuals; they would then see outward change within the community.

       Sister Banks is the head of the Intercessory Prayer Ministry in her church, Cornerstone Church in Toledo, Ohio, where Pastor Michael Pitts is the Senior Pastor. Her husband, Pastor David Banks is the Pastoral Care Pastor and together they have a vision to see God's people developed into mature believers in Christ. She feels that her part is being done as she is compelled to motivate people into the "revelation" of prayer.

Bridging Gaps, Teaching the Nations to Pray' is available at select Christian retailers throughout Ohio, including Rainbow Family Book Center in Maple Heights.

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