A Prayer for Difference-Makers In Our Lives: Remembering Tom Skinner
June 5, 2021 | by Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner | NCNW National Chaplain and President of Skinner Leadership Institute
Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, thank you for giving us spiritual role models who made our world a better place. Thank you, God, for raising Tom Skinner 79 years ago from humble upbringing to become one of the 20th century's most inspirational voices, like other difference-makers impacting our lives.
Your amazing grace transformed Tom Skinner from Harlem, New York teenage gang life, to a 30-year journey, taking Christ's message of love to over 70 nations in the world. His anointed message spanned every racial, ethnic, and cultural group. Prophetically, he championed replacing walls of discord with bridges of honest dialogue, mutual respect, and love---deeply rooted in your greatest command, "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39).
You alone, Lord God, inspired Tom Skinner to advance the prayer of Jesus, "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10), where there is no violence, racial bigotry, poverty, or disease. You alone, O Righteous Healer, stirred this anointed emissary to seek reconciliation that is only possible at the foot of the cross where every high wall of alienation and division is brought down by the resurrection power of Jesus.
In our world afflicted by the virus of racial hatred and systemic injustice against people of color, help us, Lord, to practice the same Christ-like love for all people demonstrated by those like Tom Skinner. Strengthen us, O God, to seize this moment of racial reckoning to allow the mighty power of God to work through us as your people and defeat the lie that race war is inevitable in our land. Move on our hearts right now to redouble our efforts to be agents of love and advocates for peace with justice, like the amazing spiritual role models who deeply touched our lives. In your mighty and matchless name we pray, Lord Jesus. Amen.