IF MY PEOPLE …
Terry R. Baughman
“When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ My heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek’” (Psalm 27:8).
What does it mean to seek the face of God? It is prayer, but more than saintly sentences recited from printed phrases. It is an active engagement with a spiritual purpose, desiring and determined to gain the attention of the Almighty. To seek His face is to desire Him, to attract His attention, and to covet His favor. It is an entreaty for the graceful response from our great God. As the ancient priestly blessing expressed it, “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace” (Numbers 6:24–26).
We can simply pray, or we can seek His face! Many scriptural examples illustrate the passion of persistent prayer. None are so intently expressed as those found in the Psalms. Poetry and song express the heart’s emotion and lend sincerity and purpose to our petitions. David prayed, “Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ My heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.’ Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation” (Psalm 27:7–9).
The implication of seeking is that of continuation, an ongoing engagement. It is more than just casually looking for something. It is diligently, intentionally, and persistently pursuing a goal. As Jeremiah expressed it, “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12–13).
Persistent prayers are not just occasional events, but constant companions. The prophet Isaiah said, “With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early” (Isaiah 26:9). From the first light of dawn to the dark hours of night we must seek Him and desire His purpose. David prayed, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You” (Psalm 63:1).
Our prayers must be a persistent ongoing pursuit of His purpose. Prayers are not just simple statements, sending positive thoughts toward heaven, but persistent petition, active faith that expects an answer, and are humbly presented in submission to His will. Jesus’ model of prayer teaches us submission. We pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
The seeker is assured of resolution. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expressed it, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7–8). Persist in prayer and seek His face!
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).