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'Team Damar': God, Faith, and Prayer Become the Focus After Hamlin's Heart Attack on the Field

Buffalo Bills players and staff pray for Damar Hamlin during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel)
Buffalo Bills players and staff pray for Damar Hamlin during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel)


Seconds after Damar Hamlin collapsed from cardiac arrest Monday night, the field fell silent. Moments later, his teammates gathered together to pray for his recovery, and millions around the world flooded social media asking God to intervene.

This viral prayer photo is not only a remarkable display of our need and dependence on God but also reveals how drawing together to seek Him can bring the world into unity.

"The level of unity, over Damar Hamlin, in an often divided world, is awe-inspiring," wrote former NFL player Emmanuel Acho.

This 24-year-old athlete's tragedy has reminded the world of the profound value of even one single life, and the outpouring of love and concern reflects something deeper happening right now in this moment.

John 13:35 tells us, "By this, all men will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another." 

For many evangelists, pastors, athletes, and sports fans – love, in this moment, looks like prayer. 


A post shared by John Gray (@realjohngray)

At the same time, situations like these cause us to recognize our human limitations and acknowledge God's power and sovereignty.

"Never has the fragility of human life been revealed so obviously, so strikingly apparent, as was the case on the Monday Night Football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills," wrote sports journalist Bret Stuter.

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"I don't think it mattered to any of us who our team is, last night we all became Team Damar! Just seeing this young man collapse on the field was scary. I couldn't imagine what those who were actually there and witnessed this in person are feeling," wrote Cheyenne DeVore on Facebook. "The game meant nothing to any of them after this happened and that there shows true raw emotion from all."

And as worship leader Sean Feucht wrote, the incident reveals that "God is STILL our only hope in time of need."

Hamlin has always recognized that God has placed him on the field.

Last November, during a One Bills Live podcast, he said it is a "super blessing" to be able to play football and do it alongside his childhood friend, Dane Jackson.

"I cherish it, every second that I can...every second of every day," he shared. "We just had our DB prayer, we do every Wednesday. He was next to me and I grabbed his hand a little bit harder, just because you never know the last day that could be getting to experience something like this. I'm cherishing it, every moment I can."

Meanwhile, his mother is thanking everyone for praying for her son.

Others will continue to bombard heaven on Damar's behalf with a special prayer service on January 3rd at 3pm, because Damar's jersey number is 3.

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