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  • Chris Crosby

Encouragement Challenge

Glad that I had responded to the thought, I read the email from a dear friend. Earlier that day, she had been on my mind and I prayed for her. I then sent her a quick email letting her know I was thinking of her and praying for her.

Her response was confirmation that the effort to send the email had been worth it. Little did I know she was going through something challenging and that email had been the encouragement she needed in that moment.

This scenario has played out more times than I can count. I am always glad I took the time to reach out and encourage based on the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Praying for loved ones, friends, acquaintances or even people you read or hear about yields eternal results. We won’t know this side of heaven how impactful those prayers have been, but occasionally, we can catch glimpses of it. Going beyond the prayer and sending a quick email, text, note, or phone call may be just the encouragement someone needs at that moment.

During this time where isolation challenges even the introverts, reach out to someone whom God lays on your heart. Often if they are on your mind, the Holy Spirit is prompting you to pray for them. Go the next level and let them know you are thinking of them. Send them a message. If this idea scares you or you have no idea where to begin, try one of these ideas:

1. Start with a comment like, “Remember the time we…”

2. Thank you for always taking my phone calls. I can always count on you to be there for me.

3. I appreciate how you always see the positive in others.

4. When I think of you, I see … (artistic ability, hospitality, genuine love for the elderly)

5. You inspire me with the way you… (care for your aging parents, handle difficult situations with such poise, find joy in the small things)

6. Thank you for helping me with…

We even see the apostle Paul do this when he sent an encouraging letter to the Philippians. “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Philippians 1:3-5)

Let’s embark on a challenge together to be encouragers throughout the month of June. At least once a week, let’s reach out to encourage or thank someone. Make sure the effort comes from a genuine desire to brighten their day. Remember to pray for them before sending your message and trust that God will do something far more than we can imagine. If any interesting things happen through the encouragement challenge, please come back and share in the comments (leaving out personally identifying information, of course). This could be a fun month and the beginning of a life-long habit.

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