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Prayer goes Primetime

The nation’s attention was riveted on the life and death struggle of Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin as he suffered cardiac arrest in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2nd. The situation was so serious and so disturbing to the players that the game was cancelled. Hamlin was taken to a hospital where he received excellent care and began to make a recovery. He was transferred to a hospital in Buffalo after a week and soon released from it as he continued to improve.

There is a unique side story which needs to be given focus. In our culture today, anything that has a religious connotation rarely gets positive coverage, if it gets any coverage at all. On January 2, 2023 that changed, at least momentarily as both teams grouped on the field to pray for Hamlin. Cincinnati fans even appeared outside the hospital to pray for the recovery of the player from the opposing team.

Former NFL quarterback, Dan Orlovsky who hosts a show on sports cable network ESPN actually took time during his show and on camera to pray for Damar Hamlin. This action did not put his job in jeopardy. In fact, he was praised for the action by a number of people and groups. This was amazing, because the normal casual lip service to prayer in light of a tragic incident did not characterize this situation. When NFL teams played games on the following Sunday, they met together for prayer for the recovery of Damar Hamlin before their games kicked off.

It is remarkable that a group of professional football players sent a spiritual message to the nation more far reaching than all the churches did in their Sunday services the day before the Bengals-Bills game. By example, they showed a belief in God’s power to intervene when they faced a serious problem beyond their control. For once we got to see football players in the NFL take a knee for the right reason.

In the cultural war in America, Christianity has taken some major hits, but on January 2, 2023 in a football stadium in Cincinnati it surfaced its head through the dark waters of humanism for a long needed breath of new life as prayer went primetime. A nation took to prayer for a football player who was dying. Maybe this will move us to pray for our nation which is showing signs of dying as moral standards and liberties are under attack by those on the Left who don’t seem to embrace the concept of prayer.

If prayer was the right thing to do for a seriously injured football player, it should be right to do in our schools. We all know the troubles and life and death incidents that have been major concerns there. As our military personnel and first responders put their lives on the line to protect us, we should support the chaplains who serve these heroes and not try to end military chaplaincies and those serving first responders in this capacity as some liberal politicians are seeking to do.

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