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Flashback: ESPN Analyst Halts Show to Pray on Live TV: 'I'm Going to Do It Out Loud, I'm Going to Close My Eyes, I'm Going to Bow My Head'

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Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

The health scare involving Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin was deeply upsetting for many.

Many football fans felt such an utter shock when Hamlin stood up after a seemingly routine tackle during “Monday Night Football” on Jan. 2 and then tumbled to the ground.

They prayed for his recovery, including ESPN show host and former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who broke down and prayed on ESPN’s “NFL Live” on Jan. 3.

Orlovsky started out by saying, “You know, like, this is a little bit different. I’ve heard it all day, like ‘thoughts and prayers.'”

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He went on to acknowledge that he heard the Buffalo Bills organization say it believes in prayer and that it was on his heart to pray for Hamlin.

So he decided to bow his head and pray out loud:


https://youtu.be/J1Vs59RDITc

“God, we come to you in these moments that we don’t understand, that are hard, uh, because we believe that You’re God and coming to You and praying to You, um, has impact,” Orlovsky prayed.

“We’re, we’re sad, we’re angry, um, and we want answers. But some things are unanswerable. We just want to pray, truly come to You, and pray for strength for Damar, for healing for Damar, for comfort for Damar, to be with his family to give them peace. If we didn’t believe that prayer didn’t work we wouldn’t ask this of You, God. I believe in prayer, we believe in prayer, and we lift up Damar Hamlin’s name in Your name, amen,” he concluded.

The powerful prayer generated a powerful response on social media:

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The Buffalo Bills communicated with fans via social media as they had information available about Hamlin.

On Jan. 3, the team said, “Damar Hamiln suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”

The outpouring of support and unity that was shown across the country was amazing to watch.

But another facet of this very serious situation is how it caused so many people to come together in unity and acknowledge in prayer that there is a need too big for any one human to fill.

Do you believe in the power of prayer?

Maybe too big for even a multitude of humans to fill.

And so multitudes are turning to God in a moment of need in unity and asking Him to intervene in a situation in which they are feeling helpless to ease the suffering of a fellow human, an athlete in his youthful prime, and his family.

It’s being acknowledged that there is someone bigger, who isn’t helpless. Rather, he has the power to bring hope, healing and victory.

The Bills made a point of expressing their gratitude for the outpouring of support they received from the community.

The Hamlin family did as well.

“We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words and donations from fans around the country,” the family said in a statement Jan. 3. “Please keep Damar in your prayers.”

The prayers were fruitful: Hamlin’s condition improved, and he was even able to return to the football field this season.


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