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Prayer does nothing to alleviate suffering. (Ferriera in Shusaku Endo's Silence).Certainly upon this we must agree. Or perhaps not. I remember in March last year I wrote a post called "I've Never Seen a Miracle". The flack that ensued was surprising. First of all, I didn't think all that many people read my blog locally. But someone did and the news travelled fast. Being in the Vineyard movement and being a pastor of one its churches was problematic in that it emphasizes the supernatural. That post was probably quite instrumental in more pressure being applied to me in the ministry. Endo's book Silence is a serious read. I resonated deeply with it. It is a novel based on historical events, telling the very disturbing story of missionary efforts in Japan and the grim life, torture and the inevitable apostatizing that occurred during that time. With poetic force, Endo conveys the horrific reality of the relentless silence of God throughout the most unthinkable extremes of human suffering. Does this forego prayer? Does this give up on the voice of God or God himself? But I decided some time ago that I must wake up from my naivet√©, relinquish my denial and admit the sobering reality of the deafening silence of God if I desire wisdom at all. I painted the watercolor above (my art)