Deion Sanders recounts praying in tongues in hospital, thanks God for sparing his life

Deion Sanders talks about OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network's 'Deion's Family Playbook' during the Winter 2014 TCA presentations in Pasadena, California, January 9, 2014.
Deion Sanders talks about OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network's "Deion's Family Playbook" during the Winter 2014 TCA presentations in Pasadena, California, January 9, 2014. | (Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

Pro Football Hall of Famer and Jackson State University head football coach Deion Sanders has opened up about how he cried to God to spare his life last year during a weekslong hospital stay.

During the 2021 college football season, Sanders missed three games after doctors found blood clots in his leg. The clots were severe and required two of his toes to be amputated from his left foot. 

During a recent sit down in his Mississippi home with Chris Neely of "Thee Pregame Show," Sanders reflected on the past year.

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"Shoot, it's been a tremendous ride," the 14-season NFL star said. "We may smell like the smoke because we've been through the fire. But I wouldn't change none of it. I needed it. I love it, I'm proud of it, I'm thankful for it. I got to really see God's face and the different personalities of God, I feel."

The 55-year-old spoke of the fear he felt of the possibility he could lose his life.

"It was a blessing. Because I could have lost my life very easily. It was there. It was a thought process of losing my leg from the knee down. It was almost there," the legendary cornerback continued. "So when I look up and say thank you, Jesus, it's because I know the quiet cries at night that were in that hospital." 

Sanders said his faith was on full display, and God answered his prayers.

"I know all the speaking in tongues, and the prayer, and the fellowship of God, and the praising Him through and through, I'm pretty sure that some of those nurses thought I was crazy," he said. "I know when they walked out of there, they said, 'That negro there saved, I don't care what you all say, he's saved because ain't no way in the world, he called on the Lord all night.'"

Sanders' petitions paid off, and said he is now feeling much better. 

While in recovery, Sanders said he cut his recovery time short to be present at a Jackson State game because his son Shedeur Sanders, the quarterback of the team, told him: "Dad, I need you." Shedeur Sanders is a young man of few words, which compelled the loving father to be there for his child and the team.

"When I think back on it, it was stupid," Sanders explained. "It was stupid because I wasn't in any physical condition. But I missed my team, I missed the coaches, I missed the feeling of the crowd, I missed the fans, the sonic boom, I missed all of it." 

"But it was cold, man," he added. "Didn't have no strength. I probably was 40 pounds light, weak. It wasn't a good decision, but I'm glad I made the decision [and] God saw me through."

Sanders believes God gave him the "grace" to attend that game and not pass out while in that condition. 

Sanders, who also played Major League Baseball and is known by the nickname "Prime Time," gave his life to Christ in 1997 after the cornerback survived a suicide attempt.

He drove his car off a 40-foot cliff but was not significantly injured from the fall. Following that incident, he gave up his wilder lifestyle and dedicated his life to his newfound faith.

Sanders' full interview can be watched below:

Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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