What Causes You to Pray?

January 10, 2023

NFL player Damar Hamlin’s collapse and cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football was something we won’t forget. Seeing grown men cry on national television rocked us and gave us permission to feel.

Because of this there has been more talk of prayer in the last week than I can remember since 9/11. When Tim Tebow took a knee on the field, the world laughed and mocked him. When a coach in Washington prayed after football games on the field, he was fired. Yet last Monday night, the injury of one NFL player made it all okay again. 

Coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills in his press conference said last Thursday, “Finally and just as important as anything is glory to God for keeping Damar and his family in the palm of His hand over the last few days. The amount of faith, hope and love that we saw on display over the last three days has been nothing short of amazing,” he said.

Damar’s prognosis continues to improve, and he is now breathing on his own.

The power of prayer is real.

God invites us to connect and communicate with Him.  It is what many people call prayer. It is really the only thing that Jesus’ disciples openly asked Him to teach them.

Luke 11 records, "One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.'” He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”

It was Jesus’ habit and discipline to pray. That is why it caught the disciples’ attention. The difference between Jesus and many of us – is that we pray in respond to a crisis or need. But Jesus invited His heavenly Father on the front end. We have a tendency to invite our Father into our marriage, family, business, relationship,s and finances after a setback or a crisis. Prayer is about involving our Father in everything we are involved in at the start and all the way through

Jesus prayed, “Your will and Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” He is specifically saying that you and I can have an impact on what happens on earth. He has given us the avenue for this to transpire. 

Yesterday we kicked off our initiative of 21 Days of Prayer. I strongly encourage you to take a moment and invite God into the most important and strategic areas of your life and world and ask His will and kingdom to be done with your full cooperation. Let’s invite Him from the start.  

Listen to Him and follow Him. I promise it will save you from a lot of unnecessary setbacks and when they do come – and they will – you will not hesitate to call on God and it will not feel awkward because you have been connecting with Him long before anything happened.

God works in ways we do not comprehend. All it took was one man’s near death in front of our eyes to make the country take another look at prayer. Likely for most people that urgency will be gone quickly. But may that urgency for God remain with us. May we not only pray for the healing of Damar Hamlin, but for the healing of all mankind, and for the work that needs done in our own hearts and lives.