Tuesday 21 July 2015

“What is ‘pray’?”

By Simon Kennedy

“What is ‘pray’?”

It was my son’s fifth birthday and he was having a friend sleep over for the first time. We were running through our normal bedtime routine so I told his friend that we normally pray together. He said that he had never heard of “pray” before.

I sat on the floor between their beds. “When we pray, we talk with God, just like we’re talking now.”

“What is ‘God’?”

I’ve read claims that Australia is no longer a Christian nation; I’ve engaged in many conversations with friends and strangers who deny the existence of God; I’ve mourned the growing tide of spiritual apathy and even hostility in our nation.

But this was my first encounter with total ignorance.

How can we talk about Jesus and the gospel with people who haven’t even heard of the possibility of a spiritual realm? Surely one of our roles as Christian writers is to awaken that awareness and cause a hunger for things beyond the material world.

When I started this post, my intent was to motivate. I wanted to remind myself and others of the darkness we seek to illuminate and galvanise our efforts to pierce this darkness. Simple enough. A worthwhile goal. I thought it was progressing well: I had my hook, my introductory story, a reasonable transition.

Why was it so difficult to take it any further?

After a bit of prayer, God gave me a “know your audience” moment: most of the people who will read this are already motivated!

One of my goals since joining the leadership of Omega Writers has been to familiarise myself with what God is already doing among Australia and New Zealand’s Christian writers. I’ve been privileged to make contact with dozens of His people who have been penetrating the darkness with God-honouring words and encouraging others to do the same.

The landscape of Christian writers and those who support them is rich and diverse. I’m sure that I’ve only scratched the surface and am eager to have conversations with many more faithful workers in the days to come.

But if motivation isn’t the issue, and if God has already raised up people and groups to shine bright words into our dark times, what role does He want Omega Writers to play?

I think one of our main tasks will be to facilitate connections – to help the various parts of God’s body of writers to find each other, educate each other, inspire each other towards excellence, and encourage each other as we seek to minister to believers and spread the gospel to unbelievers.

I know many of you are doing this already, and I’d like to encourage you to continue. If you would like to be more involved—perhaps even connect with other Australian and New Zealand writers—I’d encourage you to get involved in a local writing organisation, such as Omega Writers. Head over to our website,, if you want to find out more.

About Simon Kennedy

Simon is the current President of Omega Writers. He would love to hear from anyone who shares his passion to see light-infused words push back the darkness. Simon has won national short story and poetry competitions, is producing a television pilot with hopes of selling it to a domestic broadcaster, and his YouTube channel, Songs with Simon, is closing in on one million hits.


  1. Good to have you share your thoughts with us, Simon. I expect many of our children will experience similar situations to you and your son: meeting others who haven't heard of prayer.

    I've always liked the expression that Christians need to hear the gospel as much as non-believers. As with any relationship we need to be intentional in moving towards Jesus every day and in our busy worlds it's very easy for us to not do that. Jesus' desire for us is intimacy with Him and I think the power of groups like ours and Christian authors is we can encourage each other to exercise that intentionality.

  2. All so true Simon. I know my grandchildren have many friends who nothing of God and it's so important we help those children who do understand what it means to have a relationship with God, to help their friends. With church attendance decreasing as it is, personal witness is going to be crucial to the coming generations.

  3. Hi Simon,
    Thanks for the excellent reminder of why we do what we do. I know there are certainly many children like your son's friend in my neck of the woods too. As so many of us are trying share the gospel in our own way, it's also vital to keep encouraging each other, as you say.

  4. I think this also applies to the writing conference. I often feel one of the main reason to have a conference is to "facilitate connections". There's a lot of good things going on in Christian Writing in Australia and New Zealand and bringing people together not only encourages, but also inspires new ideas and new possibilities. By sharing our writing journeys we can help one another and so together we can have a bigger impact in piercing the darkness. Thanks Simon for the post.

  5. Simon, great post! Thanks for visiting ACW :)

  6. Thank you all for your encouragement! You're among those who quickly come to mind as I consider those who are already motivated and actively enthusing and educating others. Thanks for all that you do and for being a blessing to so many. :)


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