‘We Believe in Prayer’: ESPN Host Offers Beautiful Prayer for NFL Player Damar Hamlin During Live Broadcast

A call for prayer across the nation is going viral as good news comes about the football player’s prognosis.

ESPN host Dan Orlovsky bows his head in prayer during a live broadcast on ‘NFL Live.’
ESPN host Dan Orlovsky bows his head in prayer during a live broadcast on ‘NFL Live.’ (photo: Screenshot / Social media post of Trey Bradley last visited on Jan.5, 2023.)

As so many around the country took to social media Monday night asking for prayers for the health and recovery of Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills’ NFL player who went into cardiac arrest during Monday Night Football after a tackle, viral video has surfaced on social media showcasing an ESPN host offering a powerful prayer during a live broadcast. 

Dan Orlovsky bowed his head, along with his two co-hosts, asking all those watching to pray with him for Hamlin during NFL Live Jan. 4.

“I heard the Buffalo Bills organization say that we believe in prayer, and maybe this is not the right thing to do, but it’s just on my heart, and I want to pray for Damar Hamlin right now. I’m going to do it out loud, I’m going to close my eyes and bow my head, and I’m just going to pray for him,” Orlovsky said.

Hamlin, a 24-year-old defensive tackle, went into cardiac arrest Monday night that led to Hamlin being rescusciated on the field before being taken to a local hospital where he remains in critical condition. The game was obviously suspended.

“God, we come to you in these moments that we don’t understand, that are hard because we believe that you’re God and coming to you and praying to you has impact. We’re sad. We’re angry. And we want answers, but some things are unanswerable," the ESPN host began. “We just want to pray, truly come to you and pray for strength for Damar, for healing for Damar, for comfort for Damar. Be with his family to give them peace.”

“I believe in prayer. We believe in prayer. We lift up Damar Hamlin’s name in your name. Amen,” he said concluding the prayer that has now been viewed by millions. 

The news broke this morning that Hamlin has made great progress in the last 24 hours and now is “neurologically stable.” The Catholic high-school grad from Pittsburgh has received an outpouring of prayers even from his alma mater. “The Central Catholic High School community is praying for the well-being and swift recovery of Damar Hamlin, ‘16 (Buffalo Bills). May the Lord be with him and his family during this most difficult time,” Central Catholic High School said in a Jan. 2 Facebook post.

Central Catholic high-school football coach Terry Totten joined ESPN to discuss his own experience coaching Hamlin.

Totten said he was full of hope following the good sign doctors have shared regarding Hamlin’s recovery. His thoughts were with the Hamlin family. “Just thinking of his family. ... I hope that’s what they are experiencing. I know the collective hope and prayers of his community, this community here at  Central Catholic, the city of Cincinnati, Buffalo, all football fans everywhere, was rising up in direction toward heaven and hoping for this moment and hoping it continues ...” 

The Catholic school also shared a photograph showing Hamlin wearing his high-school football uniform with a poster that reads: “Recruited by Jesus.”

Speaking of his demeanor on and off the field, Totten said Hamlin “was always steady; he didn’t take the up-and-down-roller-coaster emotions. Everything was a quiet and internal confidence amid adversity."

Central Catholic president Christian Brother Mike Andrejko released a statement this week asking that “the Lord be with [Hamlin] and hold him in the palm of his hand.”

The school’s recently retired head football coach Totten described Hamlin in the statement as “a great athlete and a great Christian gentleman who is a man for others,” one who is “an essential part of the community at Central Catholic.”

We continue to pray for Hamlin and his family during this distressing time. And we hope part of his quiet resolve Totten spoke of comes from a deep faith. And we also hope that more faith-filled moments will arise in secular media where anchors throw producer notes to the side to pray.

And as we also remember Benedict XVI today as he was laid to rest, we recall his beautiful words on the power of prayer:

“We too, must bring the events of our daily lives into our prayer, in order to seek their most profound significance. And we too, like the first Christian community, allowing ourselves to be illuminated by the Word of God and meditating on Sacred Scripture, may learn to see that God is present in our lives, even at moments of difficulty, and that everything … is part of a plan of love in which the final victory over evil, sin and death is truly is that of goodness, grace, life and God.”