Tennessee Volunteers basketball coach Rick Barnes does something incredibly touching every day: he sends prayer and Bible verses to Dick Vitale, a famed ESPN broadcaster suffering from cancer and other medical issues.
Vitale shared one of Barnes’ recent daily prayers in a tweet Sunday, expressing gratitude and calling Barnes “special” for taking the time to inspire him.
The ailing sportscaster noted that Barnes was even sure to send an uplifting prayer to him after the coach’s team lost to the Texas Longhorns Saturday.
“During Texas game vs Vols I shared that @RickBarnesUT sends me a DAILY PRAYER to lift my spirits in my battles vs Melanoma, Lymphoma, & my vocal cord problem,” Vitale wrote. “I was shocked when he started doing this. This AM after a tough L at Texas he sends me this 🙏🙏🙏 Rick is special!”
During Texas game vs Vols I shared that @RickBarnesUT sends me a DAILY PRAYER to lift my spirits in my battles vs Melanoma,Lymphoma, & my vocal cord problem.I was shocked when he started doing this .This AM after a tough L at Texas he sends me this 🙏🙏🙏 Rick is special! pic.twitter.com/CSW38zRQiB— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) January 30, 2022
The prayer included a request for God to give Vitale strength and to help him face his cancer battle. It also contained references to numerous Bible verses, including Matthew 19:26 and Psalm 91:1.
“Lord, we know that Dick has been through a lot,” Barnes’ prayer read, in part. “Praying Father for you to give him rest for his mind, body, and spirit from the fatigue he is facing.”
This kind gesture from Barnes comes as Vitale struggles with lymphoma and other issues and has taken the rest of the season off to cope with his health woes, Sports Spectrum reported.
Vitale said in a previous tweet that the texts from Barnes bring him to tears.
“His KINDNESS brings tears to my eyes when I read his daily text,” he said.
Barnes told WBIR-TV why he takes the time to send these touching messages. He discussed Vitale’s passion for basketball and the amazing work he did to help those with cancer well before he faced his battle.
If you have a free two minutes, or even if you don’t, listen to this.— Madison Blevins Hock (@Madison4Blevins) January 31, 2022
Rick Barnes has sent @DickieV daily prayers since his cancer diagnosis. He explains why it’s important to him to make sure his friend is not fighting alone.
“Dick Vitale has impacted a lot of lives.” pic.twitter.com/OdTfjUXrOv
“His involvement and what he’s done for cancer is remarkable. He’s impacted so many lives. I think God is using him in a great way,” he said. “From the time I started texting him a prayer every day I said it has been good for me because it has given me a chance to spend even more alone time with the Lord.”
What an inspiring simple act that is having such a profound impact.
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