praying & relationships



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.

This Post Has 33 Comments

  1. Chelsa Bea

    This is beautiful. What a wonderful way to communicate and share with one another. I think I may just need to try it.

  2. Kanae (Pearls and Peacocks)

    That is awesome. I really like that idea

  3. Ashley

    My husband and I are Christians. And we’ve been praying for each other together aloud and individually for each other for a while. But since we’ve gotten married (just three months ago) we have made it part of our nightly routine to pray together. Every night when we are together, just before we go to sleep, we pray for our friends, family and each other. It’s a nice way to end our day!

    1. That’s so great to hear! I love that you do it at the end of the day.

      We’ve been lately asking each other about ‘the best part of our day’ each night and though it’s not praying, it has been a nice little way to end our day together. : )

  4. Liz

    What a terrific and meaningful way to connect with each other. But not being Christian doesn’t imply you can’t pray. People of many religious and spiritual traditions use prayer as a way to connect with a “higher power'” such as in Islam Judaism, Hinduism, Budhism, even Native American and other indigenous spiritualities, etc. There are so many benefits to prayer, regardless of a person’s specific spiritual background.

    1. Exactly! That’s the reason that I shared that we aren’t Christian. Just because we don’t follow a religious path doesn’t mean that we can’t also enjoy prayer from a spiritual perspective alone. : )

  5. jplatt27

    Just thinking about this practice brings tears to my eyes. It definitely puts both of you in a vulnerable place but the payoff is amazing. I can’t wait to share this with Mike. We’re heading on vacation next week and I think that would be a great time to start a practice like this.

    Thanks for sharing, Jess!

    1. Aw, that is great to hear! I hope Mike is up for trying it on your vacation, too! We started our Private Victory on vacation (well, on a trip to Austin for my workshop) and it was a great time to get something new started!

  6. Maureen

    Love this idea! We often pray together but I think you’re right – hearing what the other person might wish for you is probably very moving!

  7. Nope! I am not surprised you thought so though, I talk a lot about Christianity as I watch Joyce Meyer almost everyday.

    I was raised Catholic, explored Buddhism and Eastern philosophy in college, and have added Christianity and A Course in Miracles to my readings, podcasts, and blogs for the past several years as well.

    I love them all and use them to explore my connection to God/The Universe, but I don’t do so with any particular bias to one specific teaching over another.

    Congrats on your anniversary!!

  8. Carlee Barackman

    Blogworld is such a small world. I found the Beyond Ordinary through an online conference and have loved it! I never would have thought about the fact that by hearing the other person pray, you’re learning about them even more so too! Praying the Ephesians 5 about husbands and wives is great too!

    1. That’s great to hear! We are about 25% of the way through the book so far, I think. : )

      What was your favorite takeaway from the book (feel free to spoil anything if I haven’t read it yet)?

      1. Carlee Barackman

        Ironically, I’m not even married but I’m reading it with the intention that I can still learn something from it. So, maybe you can confirm this for me, but I feel like learning to forgive in a relationship will make the world of a difference. (I forget when they first talk about the affair, so that may spoil things. Oops!)

        1. Yes, that has certainly been my experience. After having a series of difficult things happen this year I got really good at forgiveness – especially during times right before workshops – when I HAD to be 100% present and positive in order to truly help people from a place of intuition and spirit.

          In those cases especially I learned that forgiveness is not about ‘what they did’ but about doing what you need so that you aren’t trapped and suffering. That does not condone any actions, it just means that you don’t want to stay chained to the negative situation yourself.

          1. Carlee Barackman

            Yes! That is exactly what I took from the book too! It’s like you and Justin & Trisha Davis are all on the same brain wave! Enjoy the rest of the book! Can’t wait to hear what else you and your husband take away from it!

          2. Jess Lively

            Nice! I think that is a great lesson, one that I’ve learned a bit quicker due to a few situations the night before workshops. I think every couple probably figures that one out over time, it sounds like you just have a leg up for your relationship! ; )

    1. I know! The first time was especially weird. But we actually liked it and we are getting way more used to it. Try it! You just kinda talk aloud, no special words or tone necessary.

  9. dayka

    I’m not married but I can see where this would have such a positive impact. I think there’s just something about hearing someone pray for you out loud that puts you into a different space for the day going forward. I haven’t heard of the book “Beyond Ordinary” but I’m adding it to my list. Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. Jess Lively

      I agree! Something about hearing the words is really special. A few other people have also mentioned that they are now reading the book, too, as a way to be proactive in their current marriage or future one!

  10. Kimberly Anne

    I really enjoy praying with my husband. 🙂 We do it before bed and before meals. Our 1 year anniversary is August 4th, btw! Hope you two do something fun to celebrate. We are going on a quick weekend getaway.

    1. Jess Lively

      Aw, that’s exciting! Happy Anniversary!!

      Yes, we are going on a weekend getaway this weekend as well. It was supposed to be a surprise, but I guessed it. ; )

      Where are you going?

      1. Kimberly Anne

        We went to a resort in the Poconos. 🙂 Coincidentally, there was no cell reception so I also got a forced (but needed) break from social media too. Enjoy your getaway, Jess! I know you must be going someplace fun.

        1. Jess Lively

          Nice! My trip will not be so luxe, we’re heading to the Resort at… Cedar Point! Lol. My favorite, and the very best, roller coaster place on Earth. : )

          1. Kimberly Anne

            As long as you love it & can relax with your hubby. The resort we went to wasn’t as luxe as we had hoped for. Lol the rooms were in need of a designer like you to bring them out of the 70s style. We slept….ate….oooo! And slept some more.

            Sidebar: are there any plans to restart the Business in the City NYC again?

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