Scripture: At that time, people began to call on the name of the Lord. Genesis 4:26b NIV

On January 2nd, 2023, your typical Monday Night Football game was happening. Two of the top teams in the NFL were both battling for playoff positioning. The entire stadium in Cincinnati was packed with fans from both sides, and millions had tuned in from around the world to witness these two teams clash, excited for the high level of entertainment from their stadium seats and comfy chairs.

Not one fan knew what they were about to witness, though. A safety from the Bills, 24-year-old Damar Hamlin, made a routine tackle, stood back up, and collapsed on the field—Cardiac Arrest—CPR was performed on the football field and emergency personnel were able to get his heart restarted. At the medical center, as Damar remained sedated on a ventilator, the only thing the family asked for was PRAYER.

With millions witnessing this traumatic event, suddenly PRAYER was being observed in place of a football game. Players from both teams knelt on the field with their heads bowed to the Creator—players who may or may not call themselves Christians. Players who had plans to score a touchdown or make a big tackle, prone to pound their own chests in recognition, realized Damar needed help that only God could give. An ESPN analyst who didn’t know what else to do bowed his head and PRAYED—live on the air. Fans showed up at the medical center, holding hands and praying. MILLIONS of people continue to pray for Damar as he makes progress toward a recovery, and I am one of them.

It is crazy how fast things can change for any of us. When they do, we are humbled to realize how little we are truly in control of. Even amidst a devastating medical emergency, it was encouraging to see so many people coming together to pray, ask for prayer, and realize the true power in God’s holy and precious name. An entire watching world was reminded that HE is the one present in our time of need. HE is the One who can help. HE is the One whom we call upon. The same thing that the people needed in Genesis just after all things were created, we need as well.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am unsure why it takes a wakeup call like a medical emergency for our society to see our need—our need for You, Lord! Many have realized it through this event. I continue to pray for this young man, Damar, and all those dealing with medical conditions known and unknown. Wrap your arms of comfort and peace around them and their families as we know You are the Great Physician. Lord, I pray for a revival in the hearts of those reading this and those whom you put in our classrooms for us to impact. Help us to keep our focus on You. Guide our hearts, our minds, and our words in the good times and the troubling times. May your holy name be praised and glorified through it all, my Lord, my Rock, my Redeemer. Amen

Copyright Tom Milbrandt. To connect with the author, email

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Walking in the Opposite Spirit

One Response

  1. Thank you, Tom, for an eloquent retelling of the story and the reaction from those in the stadium, to those of us at home who were watching (and participated in prayer for the player). You captured the moment so well, and I appreciate your heart and how you saw this event unfold. God was and is present all of the time, and to know we can call on His mighty name and it makes a positive and palpable difference, being seen by a massive audience, is brilliant and gives me hope for us all. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’

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