The National Football league was rocked to its core last week when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field following a blow to the chest on Monday Night Football. Since then, the league’s players and staff have continued to pour out support and prayer for the young Hamlin, as he recovers from the injury.
Now, Hamlin’s injury has NFL players taking a knee before the game, just like they have in recent years, but the players were no longer protesting the National Anthem. As the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars were set to begin their final game of the regular season, both teams met and the middle of the field and knelt in prayer to give thanks for the miraculous recovery, and continued improvement, of Damar Hamlin.
When the Denver Broncos played the Los Angeles Chargers played, another tear-jerking moment took place. Quarterback Russell Wilson and Safety Derwin James, who both wear number three for their respective teams, met at the 50-yard line to share a moment of prayer as they knelt in silence while holding hands.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) January 8, 2023
Among many other similar actions across the NFL, Raiders and Chiefs players also met at the center of the field to kneel in prayer following their own game. This trend continued throughout the league this weekend.
Damar Hamlin has also been very open and outspoken about his love of God and the continued importance that his faith plays in the day to day life. He has thanked fans and opponents for coming together in prayer in numerous Tweets since his injury last Monday night.
“Putting love into the world comes back 3xs as much… thankful for everyone who has reached out and prayed. This will make me stronger on the road to recovery, keep praying for me! “
Putting love into the world comes back 3xs as much… thankful for everyone who has reached out and prayed. This will make me stronger on the road to recovery, keep praying for me! 🏾3️⃣
— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 7, 2023
“GameDay.. Nothing I Want More Than To Be Running Out That Tunnel With My Brothers. God Using Me In A Different Way Today. Tell Someone You Love Them Today! let’s go @BuffaloBills“
GameDay.. Nothing I Want More Than To Be Running Out That Tunnel With My Brothers. God Using Me In A Different Way Today. Tell Someone You Love Them Today! 🏾3️⃣ let’s go @BuffaloBills ❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/XgA7S3Bpvn
— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 8, 2023
The prayer effect has continued to reach even farther than just the confines of an NFL stadium or locker room. Last week ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky made headlines by leading his fans in prayer during a broadcast of NFL Live, saying in part:
“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 their family and give them peace. If we didn’t believe prayer worked we wouldn’t ask this of You, God. I believe in prayer. We believe in prayer. We lift up Damar Hamlin’s name in Your name. Amen.”
Hamlin will undoubtedly spin this tragedy into a massive positive for himself and his community. In some ways, he began doing that exact thing on Monday Night as he was driven away in an ambulance. His “Chasing M’s” foundation, which brings toys to underprivileged youths, has continued to see a boom in donations, and Hamlin is sure to improve countless lives as he recovers.
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