Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition following his shocking collapse after an on-field cardiac arrest this past Monday night.
Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, told ESPN on Tuesday night that while Hamlin is sedated, he’s “improving from where he was yesterday. We are just going to continue to pray, and I know he is in great hands with the medical team he has here. They have been doing a tremendous job.”
Many of us have been praying for this young man, whose on-field talents are dwarfed by his reputation for his off-field generosity and deep Christian faith.
“My faith is in God,” he once said. “So whatever He has planned for me, that’ll be it.”
God may not cause heart stoppages, but He does allow them, and clearly uses them to advance His purposes.
I was reminded of that just yesterday when a clip of ESPN analyst and former NFL player Dan Orlovsky began making the rounds. As the football world and larger public began absorbing and processing the events of Monday night, Orlovsky decided to pray out loud, LIVE, on the national sports network. His two cohosts bowed their heads, closed their eyes, and then joined Dan by concluding by saying, “Amen.”
“I’m not a man of faith at all, but I am a man of action,” wrote one viewer on YouTube. “Big ups to Dan for doing more than just saying the words ‘thoughts and prayers.’ This is impactful, and I really have a lot of respect for people who are willing to profess what they believe in, especially when it is something positive like this.”
Consider how many people watching ESPN yesterday may have been exposed to this simple tutorial in how to pray. Dan’s prayer was personal, like a son talking with a father. He modeled well how we can bring all our cares and concerns to our Heavenly Father.
On Monday night, fellow players gathered and knelt at midfield, surrounding Damar Hamlin, heads bowed in prayer. It was a moving sight.
I hope you’ll join me in praying for Damar, but also join me in thanking and praying for Dan. It’s not always easy these days for Christians to publicly express their faith – but our witness is a ministry to a world that’s hurting and hungry for things of the Lord.