Have you seen the pictures of the football players on their knees on Monday night, heads bowed and praying for their teammate, Damar Hamlin, after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the football field? Maybe you saw a video clip of Dan Orlovsky, former NFL player and current commentator on ESPN, praying for Damar on national TV.
Have you ever seen or heard a TV personality breaking into prayer on a live TV show? This wasn’t the 700 Club. It was ESPN.
I never have.
Not on a sports show.
Not from one of the regular commentators.
What if we did what the Buffalo Bills team and Dan Orlovsky did?
What if we prayed like Dan Orlovsky?
His prayer wasn’t long. It was less than a minute. He prayed for strength, healing and comfort for Damar, and peace for his family. In his prayer, he admitted to being sad and angry, but also admitted that he believed in prayer. He said, “Amen,” and his co-hosts, Laura Rutledge and Marcus Spears, both also said “Amen,” and “Respect.” Wow! National TV. Double Wow!
Did his producers know he was going to bust out in prayer? I don’t know. Did the “higher-ups” at ESPN (or even “higher-ups” at Disney Corporation, the owner of ESPN) know he was going to take time to pray? I don’t know. All I know is that Dan Orlovsky was talking about how everyone was saying they were issuing “thoughts and prayers” for Damar, and he wanted to actually pray. And he did. Right on the set of ESPN’s “NFL Live” TV program.
What if in our workplace or school, when a co-worker, fellow employee, customer or student express distress over a problem or situation—our go-to response is not “Hey, I’m praying for you,” but instead like Dan Orlovsky said, “Could we pray about that right now?” Maybe some folks would say, “Thanks but no thanks,” but I have a gut feeling that most people who are experiencing troubles would respond the way the players on the field responded on Monday. A quick “Yeah, let’s pray!”
Listen, I don’t pretend to know how prayer works. I don’t know why God answers affirmatively to some prayers and not to others. I tell folks, “I’m in sales, not management.” But what I do know about prayer is this: God calls us to pray. In fact, the Apostle Paul says to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I also know the Bible tells us, Jesus prayed. A lot. (But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16. Underlining mine). Jesus OFTEN…prayed. It makes sense that we should too.
Listen, I pray that the Bills, Dan Orlovsky’s and all of our prayers are answered. I sure hope Damar Hamlin gets better and walks out of that Cincinnati hospital. But I also hope, that you and I would boldly pray for those needs around us.
Lord, teach us to pray like Dan Orlovsky.