10 Steps to Writing an Encouraging Letter

Do you know where your local post office is?

How about the cost of a stamp?

When’s the last time you mailed a handwritten letter to someone?

Today I want to challenge you to find your local post office and mail a handwritten letter to someone. (Sure, you can spray it with perfume for kicks if you want!)

Why do I think this is so important? Here are 3 Epic Reasons to Encourage Others. This is why it’s so important.

Last week I shared 4 Ways to Encourage Others Without Even Trying. Today, though, I want to encourage you to be extra intentional about encouraging someone through a handwritten letter. So here are ten steps to writing an encouraging letter:

1. Plan ahead.

It won’t happen otherwise. Choose a regular time to write a letter or two. It could be each morning after you spend time with God, or every Sunday afternoon, or at the beginning of each month. And don’t miss the biggies. Does anyone have a birthday this month? (Don’t forget Father’s Day is this Sunday!)

2. Choose who you want to encourage.

Who is currently going through a rough time? Who did something recently that meant a lot to you? Who can you thank? Who is on your heart today? Who needs Jesus?

3. Examine your motives.

Why do you want to write them a letter? Are you puffing them up in order to get something out of them? Or . . . Why do you not want to write a letter to them? Are you jealous of them? Confess your sinful motives to God, and ask Him to purify your heart.

4. Pray for them.

Don’t just write a letter telling them that you will or you are praying for them—do it right then! There’s no greater, more powerful gift you can give someone than heartfelt, urgent prayer through Jesus to the Father.

5. Let them know you prayed for them.

Even let them know how you prayed for them. Something like, “I prayed that God would help you believe truth during this time, and hope in Him alone . . .”

6. Be specific.

So you appreciate them. But what specifically do you appreciate about them? So you’re grateful for them. Why? If they’re a believer, where do you see God’s grace in their life? How specifically do you see them looking more like Christ on a daily basis?

7. Share Scripture with them.

Romans 15:4 tells us that, “Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” As believers in Christ, we—of all people—can offer lasting encouragement and hope. Don’t preach, but do point them to Christ and His promises. You don’t have to include a litany of verses; I’ve found that one power-packed verse goes a long way (Prov. 25:11).

8. Keep it short.

If your letter is pages and pages long, most people won’t read it. Short and sweet all the way, baby!

9. Handwrite it.

This isn’t necessary, but it’s definitely extra special. (FWIW: I usually write or type a rough draft ahead of time, so the actual card isn’t a mess.)

10. Invest in some cards and stamps.

If you don’t have the money, lined paper will do just fine. But if you can invest a few extra bucks into cards, it will go a long way in making others feel loved.

I buy the value pack of blank cards from Hobby Lobby and glue the fronts of cards people have given me onto them (I know, I know, just call me el cheapo!).

I like to keep a basket of cards, paper, envelopes, pens, scissors, and glue on hand so I can whip out a card on a moment’s notice. You might want to do the same.

Are you available to share God’s encouragement with others who desperately need it?

But don’t worry if you’re not artsy. This isn’t about making you look good. It doesn’t matter if your card is Pinterest-worthy. The main thing is: Are you available to share God’s encouragement with others who desperately need it?

Writing a letter isn’t the only way to encourage someone. But it sure is a great way to put into practice Philippians 2:1–5,

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”

At the beginning of this post, I asked if you knew where your local post office is. If not, you can find the nearest location here. And if you want to know how much a stamp costs, learn the answer here. I’ll even make it extra easy for one of you. Log on to the giveaway widget below, and then leave me a comment telling me who you will write your encouraging letter to. I’ll pick one of you to win a free pack of cards, stamps included! (But you’ll have to lick the envelope yourself!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula no longer tries to catch guys' attention by swallowing live goldfish, arm wrestling, and jumping down flights of stairs. (She's married to a wonderful man now!) She spends her days caring for her son, Iren, and writing for Revive Our Hearts. She's the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, and she and her family live in New York.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • Susanna

    my brother and some of his friends who are beginning to be counsellors for a camp

    • Sally

      That’s great!

  • Elizabeth Williams

    I am such an old soul and just love sending/receiving cards and letters! And I can tell y’all from personal experience that it is so encouraging! I love getting e-mails, texts, comments on social media, etc., but there’s nothing like knowing that someone took the time to send something to you. Especially because, since people don’t really do that stuff as much anymore, it’s so unexpected when you open your mailbox, which makes it more special. And I express myself better on paper anyways. I also love that whenever I may be having a “down” day, I can go back and look at cards people sent me a while back. I would also encourage people to get a pen pal. I know that’s so not necessary anymore, but it’s really awesome! I just started writing a girl that I don’t even know, someone I met through Instagram. But it’s so neat! But it’s still a good thing to sit down and write someone a letter even if you know they might not write back, just to give them some encouragement. Great post!

    • Sally

      That’s really great how you like to encourage people even if they don’t write back! You inspire me to encourage and to stay positive no matter if I’m sick or if I’m not even getting any encouragement at all! Thanks!

      • Elizabeth Williams

        Aw, you’re sweet!

  • Elizabeth Williams

    Clarification: for the poll, I answered that I attend church about twice a month. But that is NOT because I don’t love church. I have a chronic illness and am hardly able to make it

  • Becca<3

    I will try to write cards for one of my younger friends who has a lot of questions about faith, and also for my older brother (he’s been stressed with finishing his own school work so he can graduate high school). My best friend loves to write letters and notes to people, and she is very good at it (she is also OBSESSED with Hobby Lobby, Paula!) I hope to become more like her in this area, and better at writing letters. I’ve never been a note-person. Thank you for this encouragement and inspiration today! 🙂

    • Becca<3

      Oh! Also my mom! She’s been struggling with autoimmune illness for years, and just recently she’s had a lot of back and nerve pain from a car wreck 20+ years ago (she has degenerative disks in her back since then). Would y’all please pray for her? She’s had multiple doctor’s appointments within the past few weeks and she may need surgery (the whole prospect of back surgery really makes my mom nervous), but we’re still not sure yet. She definitely needs encouragement!

      • Allie

        Definitely praying for your mom, Becca!

  • I absolutely loveeeee this! I have always been a big letter writer and I am so excited to start writing some encouraging notes! I am going to write a letter to a few of my friends, one being a friend I met online who lives far away, but who God has blessed us in that we have been able to meet twice! The other friend is a close friend who has encouraged me a lot spiritually.

  • Allie

    This is just so fantastic. As an avid letter writer, I agree wholeheartedly with this post!! Thanks so much for bringing this beautiful way of encouragement back!

  • Heidi

    I could write a letter to a friend who is going through financial difficulties right now.

    • Heidi

      also, what about TW201?

      • Erin Davis

        Heidi,

        Are you asking about the summer book club? If so, check out today’s post where I vlog about week 1.

        Thanks!

        Erin

    • Sally

      Good for you! Encourage them and tell them that God will get them through their trouble!

  • Leah

    What perfect timing on this post!! I have a friend who moved away a long time ago but has been writing me ever since. Now that we’ve hit high school and we’re both super busy we don’t write very often anymore. But I got a letter from her today, and so that is who I will be writing. Thanks for the encouragement to write her back 🙂

  • Dolly Madison

    I try to write a letter to someone every Sunday. That’s the goal– but I’m all backed up because I haven’t been consistent with it! I’ll have to work on it. Handwritten letters are such treasures. It’s amazing how one short, thoughtful note can mean the world to someone. You don’t have to have good handwriting or pretty stationary. Just knowing that someone thought about you and went to the effort to send you a note in the mail means so much.

  • Love this post! I think letter writing is something that is becoming a thing of the past and I don’t want that to happen. This year, I decided one of my goals was to write 50 notes/letters of encouragement/gratitude. During Lent, I did almost 40. It had a such big impact. I think the impact on me was even bigger than it was on the people I sent the cards to. (For more of my story about letter writing, check out my blog: musingsmadebymandy.blogspot.com)

    I would highly encourage anyone reading this post to give it a try! I think you will be shocked by the gift it will be to others and how God will use it in your life.

    • Elizabeth Williams

      That’s great that you set a specific goal! I’m checking out your blog post now 🙂

  • Allison

    My best friend will be getting an encouraging letter. She’s been going through a really tough time.

  • Dana Joy

    I will send letters to two of my friends who are away at camp for three weeks who will also be gone for much of the summer.

  • Dolly

    I play on writing a letter to my cousin who just moved out west to start school in the fall. Also to my dear friends that just need a wee note every now and then with some encouragement 🙂 Thanks for the reminder and encouragement to write letters! Such a blessing to encourage others in this way! More of blessing than I think we even realize sometimes 🙂

  • Isabella Jo

    Writing has always been my way of truly expressing myself. My best friend and I used to always write to each other when we were struggling with something. Now that we live farther away from each other, we have to actually mail things, which makes it even more special!

    It is just the greatest feeling when I get something in the mail, handwritten and all! I love it! Knowing how much I love it encourages me to do it more for others!

    I will definitely try harder to write letters to my best friend. And also to the other good friends that I have long-distance relationships with.

  • emily

    i plan on writing a letter to a neighbor…though i dont really know them, it will be good for them to see that someone out there cares about them.

  • I’d love to win that! I love letters. I would like to send cards to missionaries to encourage them and also to moms who are suffering right now. Thank you for this post.

  • Jordan Williams

    My and a couple of friends have decided we are going to write letters to our friends who are from our church who are serving this summer.

  • Ana Maria Zorrilla-Velasco

    I love to write, thank you notes, encourage notes, love notes..I am an old school handwriting woman. And I love it to be that way.

  • I have been wanting to do this for a long time, but never set time aside to do so. There are several people in my Celebrate Recovery group that I want to send encouraging notes to.

  • Tona

    I will be writing letters to some of my seniors who just graduated and will be entering their first year of college. I also been putting off writing encouraging letters to the various missionaries at my church.

  • Tammi

    My first encouraging letter will be to my dad, who is going through cancer treatment.

  • Amanda

    I think I’m going to send letters to my husband’s grandmother, my grandmother, and my sister in law. These are people that I don’t get to talk to regularly but like to reconnect with and encourage.

  • Marlene S Jerome

    I will send an encouraging note to a close friend with a husband who is an unbeliever.

  • Darla

    I used to send letters all the time, but since my children have come along… I haven’t. Today I will send an encouraging note!

  • Latisha

    My dad and maybe my cousin.

  • Jesusfreak17

    I will be writing an encouraging letter for my pastor, who is leaving my church. 🙁 I probably won’t mail it but I will defiantly give it to him.

    • Jesusfreak17

      PS. It asked how often I got to church and I said other because it depends on the time of year. During the summer we go a few times a month but the rest of the year I go every week on Sundays and every week on wednesdays for youth group

  • Karrie Millheim

    I would write to some friends that are on hard times..it would be wonderful to see an encouraging note from a friend then a bill..makes it all seem to go away

  • Ella Johnson

    I would write Mrs.Emily. Her and her husband where my old Sunday school teacher. They have helped and encouraged me more than they could ever know! Last December they moved from North Carolina To Montana! I know things Have been rough for them lately and we keep meaning to call but with time difference and our busy lives a handwritten letter could be just what she needs!