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Did Luke Bernard’s healing involve ‘battering’ prayer?

Doctors told the family of actor Luke Benjamin Bernard, 25, that it would be a miracle if he survived his serious car accident in a vegetative state.

Bernard came from a Christian home and in a podcast on Pureflix, Bernard shared his story of what happened after a serious car accident in 2013.

When he arrived at hospital, doctors classified him as level 3 on the Glasgow Coma Scale. His pupils were dilated and fixed and doctors told his family to get to the hospital as soon as possible fearing death was imminent.

However, his Christian parents would not accept his death sentence. They began praying for their son, and Bernard explained the two important elements of their prayer that led to his miracle recovery.

First, he says it was persistent prayer

“Basically, they did the best thing they could for me … and the only thing they could have done was — they prayed. They read scriptures, they sang praise … at my bedside again and again and again.”

Secondly, he says it was fighting prayer. His family was battling for their son’s life:

“[My dad’s] mindset was, ‘This is a fight — I’m in a fight right now for my son’s life and Satan’s trying to take my son and I’m not going to let it happen.”

In one of Jesus’s parables on prayer, the Lord says that these two elements, persistence and fighting, are a key parts of successful prayer.

In the parable recorded in Luke 18: 1-8, we read that a widow had been defrauded, and she went a local judge seeking justice.

The first thing we are told is that the judge put her off, basically ignored her. I am not sure what this means, but I suspect justice was for sale in that town. If the woman had come with a bribe, she would have received a different reception, but she was broke.

Jesus says the woman kept going again and again to the judge demanding justice. And Jesus said for “a while” the judge put her off. The phrase implies a considerable amount of time, weeks possibly months.

But the woman would not give up.

She kept persisting. She would not stop. And finally the judge blinked. We are not told how long it took, but finally the judge caved because of the woman’s relentless prayers.

Jesus explained what happened next.

“Yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.” (Luke 18:5 NASV)

But this verse is full of hidden meaning. First the judge said this woman was bothering me. But the word bother doesn’t provide the full meaning of what was happening here.

The Greek word translated bother is a compound word. The first word is “perechein” that means to cause or bring and the second part, kopon, literally means to cut, to bring pain and to reduce a person’s strength.

It describes the early rounds of a boxing match when a fighter pounds away at his opponent’s face and body, in an effort to weaken him so later in the fight, the knock out blow can be landed.

The woman was battering the judge, cutting him and wearing him down.

Then the judge says that this woman’s persistence was wearing him out. But the NASV footnotes this Greek word “hypopiaz” explaining what it literally means: “hit under the eye.”

The judge’s eyes were becoming swollen and shut by the constant beating. This was not sweet, “now I lay my down to sleep” type of prayers.

And Jesus finished off this teaching by stating that though God is not like this judge, nevertheless persistent, battling prayer, done respectfully of course, is the key to victory:

“Now will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will he delay long over them.” (v 7 NASV)

READ: ‘A miracle’: Doctors said actor would live the rest of his life as a vegetable — if he survived at all. Now, he’s starring in a new movie.

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