The Word : Do we actually stop and pray for people?

Published 10:07 am Friday, January 13, 2023

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Rev. J. Cameron Bailey“Just pray.” A little over a week ago during the Monday Night Football game on Monday, Jan. 2 between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, Bills safety, Damar Hamlin, made a routine tackle, stood back up and quickly fell back down. Injuries happen often. Players watch teammates get hit, get hurt, get up, fall down, get helped.

But…this was different. As medical staff were trying to load Mr. Hamlin into the ambulance, he was immediately lowered back down and CPR performed. Damar Hamlin, at 24 years old, just 2 years in the NFL, was needing resuscitation. In front of a huge crowd, in front of his team, in front of his mom whom he hugged right before the game began, his heart stopped and he needed help. The silence was deafening. Commentators knew not what to say. No words could be found. No comfort could be given at this time.

All that was continually said was “Just pray.” No one knew what to say. No one was certain what had happened. No one knew what would happen next. No one should be caring about the game that was being postponed. All anyone knew…all everyone kept saying…“Just pray.”

With over 25 years in ministry, I have come to learn that the words “Just pray” can be said time and time again. The frustrating part is…do we? We often tell people we will pray for them. We put up the praying emoji on social media quickly. But did we actually stop and pray? Oh man I hope so!

May I challenge you? From this point on, when someone says “pray for me” or “I need prayer” or “Just Pray”…I need you to pull over if you’re driving, close your eyes if at the desk, turn off or mute the tv or radio…and pray.

Better yet, pray with the person requesting or send them a text or private message prayer. Don’t know what to say? God knows what’s needed and He loves to hear you even if it doesn’t come out as well as you’d like. You have no clue how much a message or live prayer means. Woooo! Asking for prayer and receiving a “Lord, cover this person and this need. We fully trust in You to provide what is best and needed. In Jesus Name, amen” means the world!

And don’t “Just pray.” Put prayers to action. Did you know that Damar Hamlin set up a GoFundMe in hopes of raising funds to help a local toy drive? He was hoping to get $2,500. As of 1/4/23, more that $4 million had been given. Don’t “Just Pray”…be the good needed!

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at jamescameronbailey@gmail. com.