During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. ~ Lk 1:39-40
In the morning, we snatch five minutes to pray for the day that will be. At noon, we whisper a hurried prayer of thanks or petition for the day that is. Nearing bedtime, we drowsily and prayerfully reflect on the day that has been. Both these passing moments of prayer and our more spacious times of reflection are usually solitary activities, carried out alone, in a quiet place.
But we need not see prayer as activity for a solo operator only. The radiant expressions of praise that billow forth from the meeting of Mary and her older cousin Elizabeth—known in Scripture as the Visitation—suggest that there is joy in praying with others. Perhaps we might identify a friend, classmate, fellow parishioner—even an older cousin, like Elizabeth!—with whom we can meet regularly for half an hour of shared prayer.
Perhaps we can assemble a group of like-minded people—young mothers, mid-career executives, medical school students—to accompany one another in prayer. Perhaps we can simply revel in the magnificent sound of our fellow worshippers’ voices rising in unison from the pews into heaven: “Lord, hear our prayer.” Praying with others will expand our souls and enliven our hearts. It will fill us, as it filled Elizabeth, with the Holy Spirit, and it will multiply our joyful sense of the presence of God, who has promised to be wherever two or three are gathered in his name.
Most holy Trinity, create in us hearts willing to share the experience of prayer, and sanctify the moments we spend with others as we pray in your name. Amen.