In the fall of 2018, I was shopping at a Christian bookstore. The Holy Spirit drew my attention to a bright pink, flowery, joy-themed packet called Prayers to Share. The packet had 100 beautiful tear-away note cards featuring different prayers, scriptures, and inspirational quotes.
Even as I sensed the Lord prompting me to buy the cards, I objected, saying, “I have been praying Nehemiah 8:10, that the joy of the Lord would be my strength. You know all the struggles I have been battling, I do not think I am the one to be giving out ‘joy’ cards!” And yet, I heeded His instructions, as hear, believe, and obey God is a principle I try to follow.
At first, I was hesitant, thinking that I had to read each unique note and determine the stranger I was to approach. I confided, “Lord, I know you can show me who this card is for, yet that feels like a lot of pressure.” I sensed a smile as He spoke, “Your ‘assignment’ is to pray over the packet and hand the cards to whomever you come across. I know the exact encouragement for each person.” His clarification freed me to begin handing out Prayers to Share like candy!
Throughout my day, as I go and wherever I go, I give out Prayers to Share. I have fun sharing them in grocery stores, restaurants and fast-food establishments, libraries, gyms, malls, waiting rooms at doctor’s offices and hospitals, elevators, post offices, gas stations, Bible studies, churches, airports, sporting events, dog parks, and to delivery drivers. I have put Prayers to Share cards inside Christmas cards, tucked them into letters, and even left them on vehicle windshields. Sometimes the Lord will prompt me to write a brief note of encouragement on the back of an individual card.
I am amazed by God’s provision and power, as I have partnered with Him to share 12,800 Prayers to Share cards. The number of people we have the opportunity to notice each day is astounding.
For the past four years, my engagement “strategy” with the Prayers to Share has been to simply say, “Here is a joy card. I give one to everyone that I come across throughout my day! I get them at Hobby Lobby, Mardel’s, or online.”
Often, people will read the card and tell me that it is exactly what they needed to hear. I reply, “Every card is different; God knew just what you needed. He loves you and sees you!”
99% of the time, strangers will accept a card. If someone says, “No thank you”, I smile to affirm they have a blessed day. Even with a 99% acceptance rate, I occasionally battle with the fear of rejection, offense, and discouragement. During these moments, I remind myself that Proverbs 28:1 declares, “The righteous are as bold as lions.” And the Holy Spirit reminds me that my part is giving. His part is touching hearts. I am being His hands and feet providing an opportunity for people to receive God’s love. The results are up to Him!
I keep two Prayers to Share packets in a small crossbody purse so I’m at-the-ready to share the love of God. The few times I have run out of cards, I have felt a sense of urgency to restock, knowing people are missing God’s encouragement.
After emptying the first few Prayers to Share packs, I began saving the covers and recording the dates. In May 2022, a friend excitedly texted our Bible study group to share her own Prayers to Share testimony from handing them out at her recent dental appointment. A person in the group inquired, “What are Prayers to Share?” My friend responded, “Ask April, she is the queen of these ‘joy’ cards!”
This text led me to discover that within one year I had given out 6,400 cards (that’s 64 packs) and that 5 other women had been inspired to begin scattering joy cards themselves! The number of Prayers to Share card-givers has grown to at least 30 women – and one husband!
I am an ordinary follower of Jesus, a wife and mom, who heard, believed, and obeyed the voice of God. If I can scatter joy, you can too! Prayers to Share cards are an excellent tool to present the love of Christ in our communities and daily lives.
The enemy wants me and every Prayers to Share giver to stop sharing encouragement. Whenever the enemy tempts me with lies such as, “Prayers to Share are not impactful, so quit wasting your time and money”, I take those thoughts captive and ask the Holy Spirit to remind me of meaningful encounters (as 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to do).
One of my most memorable Prayers to Share testimonies is with Alex, a 17-year-old table busser at a local restaurant, whom I noticed while having a birthday lunch with a friend. After our meal, the Holy Spirit prompted me to write personal notes on the back of four Prayers to Share cards to the restaurant host, server, manager, and busser.
Several months later, I returned to that restaurant. And there was Alex! He recognized me and recalled, “You are the lady who gave me that card. I keep it on my nightstand and read it often.” I was overjoyed that the Lord had allowed me to partner with Him to encourage this young man. I gave Alex a Texas-sized hug, and we took a selfie to remember the moment! I frequently hear similar testimonies when I visit the places where I have previously scattered cards of joy and encouragement.
I am grateful that the Lord led me to discover Prayers to Share, a useful and beautiful resource displaying God’s love that frequently leads to conversations and prayers.
Kindness matters! Go, scatter joy!
This article was written by April Barr. April Barr lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband of 21 years, their 2 sons, and a Maltipoo. Through everyday evangelism, discipleship, speaking, and writing, April inspires, equips, and activates believers to advance God’s Kingdom everywhere they go. Learn more about April at aprilbarr.net.