On Monday evening, I was beginning to write the first Corner of the new year. It is during these first few days that we see all the hope and promise that a new beginning can achieve. Many of us consider resolutions that will help this year be better than the last. We want to invest in our best selves in the days and weeks to come.
I chose to watch the Monday Night game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills. The contest has implications for the playoffs and was a good follow to the Rose Bowl. Shortly before the end of the first quarter, what looked like a regular tackle quickly turned into something far more serious. Damar Hamlin, the defensive player involved in the tackle, stood up and then fell to the turf. Medical personnel worked on him for a half hour, including CPR and other measures, before he was placed in an ambulance and rushed to the nearest hospital.
As Damar was being moved, his teammates gathered in a circle, knelt, and began praying for him. The game was suspended as neither team wanted to resume playing without hearing about Damar’s condition. Like those on the field, I have been praying for Damar, his family, his teammates, and any person who chooses to play football on any level.
It sometimes takes a tragedy to remind us that the Lord is with us in all that we experience. Many of the posts I have seen on social media have been a request to pray for Damar, his family, and even his teammates. I hope that is not the only time we turn to the Lord who is our constant companion. Each day I seek to pray without ceasing. I am in conversation with our Lord about joys, celebrations, and blessings, as well as struggles, trials, and sorrow.
Prayer makes a difference. God hears our words, our feelings, our hopes, and our worries. Our Creator offers us grace, peace, comfort, and strength. And though God knows what we will ask before we do, Jesus has taught us to pray those very special words which begin with “Our Father, who art in heaven…”
As we begin a new year, we can’t know all that will happen in our lives. Let us pray, when we hear the joyful news of new life and new relationships. Let us pray as we or members of our families reach life milestones like graduation, marriage, new jobs, and new opportunities. Let us pray when someone we love learns that they have cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, or another serious condition. Let us pray when a person loses their battle with addiction or depression. Let us pray because God’s love is everlasting and endures forever. Let us pray for one another as an example of our Lord’s love for each and every one of us. Let us pray without ceasing. And Amen.