When it comes to my marriage to Mr. Lively (which will be one year come August 12th!), we have found two practices extremely powerful. The first is the private victory (PV) and the second is prayer.
Yes, prayer. Even though neither of us is Christian.
As a part of our morning victory for the past few weeks, we decided to include something we picked up from Beyond Ordinary. Though we haven’t completed the book yet, we decided to test run one of the book’s exercises: praying for each other.
The idea is pretty simple: we take time each day – usually by the lake if we are running – to pray for the other person aloud.
Yes, aloud. Even though it feels super awkward (at first).
Sure, we have often done gratitude prayers before meals at home together. But these morning prayers are on a different level of intimacy for us. At the beginning, we weren’t quite sure what to say and were a little self-conscious of how we phrased things.
You aren’t talking to the person next to you… But you are talking to The Universe/God/nature/you-name-it about the person next to you… Oh, and they can hear you.
However, now that we’ve been practicing the habit, we are getting less self-conscious and it’s feeling more natural.
We pray for peace, clarity, career developments, productivity, joy, and guidance or strength for things the other partner is struggling with.
The effect has been pretty profound. There is something amazing about hearing that kind of love and optimism directed your way. As I listen to the words he prays, I actually can sense a bit of calm rest over me. A focus for my day and a positivity about tasks have actually occurred as he has prayed about those very things.
And Mr. Lively feels the same way. Today, in fact, after I got done going through my prayers for him, he started laughing. At first I wasn’t sure if he was poking fun at what I had said, but he quickly responded that the laugh with joy of from hearing my wishes for his day.
Which is a pretty big testimonial for the exercise.
So all in all, I cannot help but suggest the practice to those couples who might be interested. It might feel a little weird at first, especially if you aren’t used to praying, but the results could be well worth the effort.