lamar odom and JaNean Mercer

*In a statement obtained by E! News, Lamar Odom’s maternal aunt, JaNean Mercer (his late mother’s sister), seeks prayers for her nephew as he remains hospitalized in critical condition.

“No words can express the overwhelming gratitude we feel for the outpouring of support from around the world,” she says. “Please continue to keep in your prayers, our family and Lamar, whom we deeply love, admire and cherish.”

Odom remains in critical condition after being found unconscious in a Nevada brothel on Tuesday, but Mercer says that they still hold hope for improvement.

“His complete healing is paramount and our primary focus. Please respect our privacy as we continue to lean on GOD and trust in Him during this extremely difficult time.”