Every year the Lord gives me one word on which to focus. This year’s word is deeper. Based on the hunger I feel for a more intimate and powerful prayer life, I suspect this is where He wants me to grow. And so, I’ll share occasional ponderings about prayer with you as I learn over the next 10 months. I welcome your insights in return. Iron sharpens iron.
For starters, I’m discovering the difference between seeking God’s face and seeking His hand. The bulk of my prayers all too often fall into the latter category. I ask Him for specific things—which Scripture tells me to do—but in doing so overlook the importance of delighting in Him simply for who He is.
Quoting from Prayer Fatigue by Jennifer Kennedy Dean: “Worship-based prayer seeks the face of God before the hand of God. God’s face is the essence of who He is. God’s hand is the blessing of what He does. God’s face represents His person and presence. God’s hand expresses His provision for needs in our lives. I have learned that if all we ever do is seek God’s hand, we may miss His face; but if we seek His face, He will be glad to open His hand and satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts” (pg. 52).
Prayer is so much more than asking God to meet our needs, whatever they may be. It’s actively engaging with the Creator of the universe, the Savior of our souls every minute of every day. It’s baring ourselves to the One who already knows our deepest thoughts and desires. It’s the avenue through which we involve Him in every detail of our lives and with which we connect with Him on every level.
The psalmist wrote, “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek” (Psalm 27:8 NIV). May we share his passion. May prayer be for us the seeking of God’s face rather than merely the seeking of His hand.