Dos and don'ts of writing encouraging letters

Editor’s note: This information was published in a previous issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility and ministry news.

“The biggest blessing we received was all the cards and prayers that poured in from CHM members.”—Wahid Wahba

“Members from all across the country began to pray for Mallory’s healing and sent her encouraging cards and letters.”—Cassie Millburn

“The most astonishing part of my health crisis was the outpouring of prayer support in the form of cards, letters and emails from CHM members across the country. Each week our mailbox was filled with fervent, written prayers from the amazing Body of Christ.”—Alice Rouse

Each of these CHM members have received cards from fellow members like you, who took time out of their day to spread the love of Christ and encourage them when they were feeling overwhelmed. These cards turned bad days into good ones, gave hope when they were feeling down, and became treasures long after their medical events had passed.

But how do you write letters or cards like this? What should you include? What should you leave out? We’ve provided some ideas you can use to ensure that your letter or card is truly encouraging, along with suggestions for what not to include.

Do include Scripture

The psalmist wrote, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Who is better, then, to encourage fellow members struggling through a medical incident? Including Scripture—the very Word of God—brings His unwavering comfort and encouragement right into the recipient’s hands. The Bible provides a multitude of uplifting thoughts to share.

Are you unsure of what verses to include in your card or letter? Check out this great resource for healing, encouragement or comfort.

Do include prayer

One of the most encouraging declarations a believer can hear is: “I’m praying for you.” Take this encouragement one step further and write out your prayer so your recipient can see the words you prayed over them and hold onto your prayer as they go through their medical event.

Do include stories of God’s power

As Phylicia Masonheimer so aptly said, “God’s kindness and past provision are a template for His future actions.” By sharing your encouraging stories or the ways you have seen the Lord working in your own life, you are giving this same encouragement to your fellow members.

Do be Spirit-led and heartfelt

A letter doesn’t have to be lengthy, perfectly penned, or eloquently expressed—on par with Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, or the psalmist—to be impactful. Instead, listen to the Holy Spirit as He leads you and write from your heart! What makes these letters and cards so encouraging is that you took the time to write and let the recipients know you’re thinking of them.

Don’t include advertising or promotional offers, health remedies, political materials, or information promoting various religious denominations

It’s important to remember that the purpose of Prayer Page and prayer requests is to encourage people as they go through a difficult situation. Sending such items as these does not accomplish this goal. Even though they may be sent with good intentions, these communication pieces typically benefit the sender more than the receiver.

Before you send something, ask yourself, Would I find this encouraging when I’m facing a stressful event? If the answer is no, don’t send it.

Letters and cards are a huge blessing to your fellow members. Indeed, they often are treasured for years after the event has taken place. Thank you for supporting your brothers and sisters in Christ through your comforting and uplifting words.

Happy encouraging!

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