It started last year.
I’d been thinking about prayer and interceding for others and what that looked like in my own life. I do a lot of prayer journaling, but it’s not as often that I take the time to intentionally and faithfully pray over others’ specific needs. Not as much as I’d like, anyway.
One day last Spring, I felt this stirring to write out prayers for people. It’s a habit I’d pick up and set aside— a prayer text to a friend here, an Instagram comment there, within Facebook groups or emails. But it had never been an intentional, regular part of my prayer life. This day, though, I felt like God was calling me to commit to praying for one person in particular. And not just to pray over her, but to write the prayers out and send them via email.
I wrote an email to her, and just told her what I felt the Lord was telling me. “I choose you,” I said. “I can’t explain why, but you’re the first one I thought of for this thing and I’m going to choose to believe that it’s a Holy Spirit thing and just go with it.”
And for about six months, I did. I’d sit with my laptop or phone and write up a prayer in an email composer once a month. Then I’d press send and my friend would have a prayer waiting for her in her inbox.
I know there’s power in any prayer. I wholeheartedly believe that to be the case. But I also believe there’s something so special, so powerful about receiving a prayer you can hold on to. When you can remember the words, re-reading them from time to time… I think that’s a beautiful picture of how prayer works— outside of time, because it’s heard by a God who knew it would be prayed, a God who is moving in those situations and people, a God who sees the victory before we’ve even thought to pray for it.
I know how much it’s meant to me to receive prayer over text, email, Skype, and in person. I know how much it means to hear the other person’s actual Spirit-led words over you.
The dawning of 2016 was an exciting new season for me. It felt like the best sort of fresh start. And as I sat, considering the year before and the people who walked through it with me, I began to make a list. It wasn’t anything fancy, just names as they popped into my head, written down on a small 4×6 notecard I had lying around. I thought I was going to send each of them a thank you card, to let them know how grateful I was for them and their friendship.
I felt a whisper in my spirit, though, that it would be more than that.
Don’t just write them cards, Kristin. Write them prayers.
So I did. I grabbed a stack of notebook paper and one-by-one, I started writing out a prayer for each of my people on this list. When I was finished writing the prayer, I’d write them a separate note on a card, and tuck the notebook paper with my prayer written on it inside of the card. Then I would set it aside until I could put it in the mail.
The reactions have been amazing – so humbling and so beautiful. I have been told that my prayer was received on the perfect day, that the prayer was going to be kept inside of their Bible, that they sobbed because the words were exactly what they needed to hear. I have been told that it is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for them, that I should never stop doing this project because it was such an encouragement to them and they want others to receive the same thing. And it was from those reactions, that I decided to share about this growing work God has been writing in me as I have been writing up prayers.
I call them “Postmarked Prayers.”
And now, four months into my own journey, I’m inviting you into it with me.
Imagine how powerful it would be if each of us wrote a prayer to even one other person and mailed it to them. Imagine that person, holding the envelope in their hand, delighted to have received some “happy mail.” Imagine their reaction as they see that you took the time to send them not only a note of encouragement, but also a bold prayer written out by hand.
If you’d like to join me in growing in prayer, in being intentional with your intercession, and in flooding the USPS with prayer-mail — I’d love to have you start to write your own postmarked prayers.
How To Get Involved
1. Sit with an empty piece of paper or notecard. Pray and ask the Lord to show you who should be on your list. I was surprised by a few of the names that popped up on my list at first! I know it was the Holy Spirit who chose them and it’s so amazing to see that play out!
2. Take a sheet of paper and write the date at the top. I like to write the start time (and come back to write the end time). I’ve had moments where I know that someone is praying for me, and I know how neat it is to find out who was praying over you at that exact time!
3. Start writing your prayer. I like to start with thanking the Lord for that person by name. I tend to write a whole thanksgiving paragraph, then move on to needs. Is this person single, engaged, married, have kids? I pray over those things. Does this person have a specific need right now? Are they waiting on something? Starting something new in life, family, or business? I pray over that. Is the Holy Spirit prompting you to pray for anything in particular? Pay attention to that and write it out!
4. Write up a little note card to tell the person that you’re thinking of them, that you love them, that you’re thankful for them. Whatever encouraging word is on your heart, share it!
5. Tuck the prayer inside the card. Seal it up, address it, put your stamp on it and send it out!
6. Pray and ask God to show you who to write to next!
One of the most beautiful things about this to me is that it’s all God. He gives the names and shows you when to write them a prayer. He guides you to put it in the mail at the right time and He makes sure it’s delivered exactly when it’s meant to arrive to each person. As I hear from my friends, I am so encouraged, so humbled, and so blessed by what God is doing. I know you will be, too.
If you do decide to be apart of the Postmarked Prayers project, I would love to hear about your experience! Send me a note, share on social media with #PostmarkedPrayers, or comment on this post. I’d love to praise the Lord with you over what He’s doing! 🙂
Looking for a little more encouragement these days? I’ll send you an email every now and then with a note to encourage you to press on in what you’re doing. You can join that community here.