Eye to Eye
Eye contact is an intimate act. If you intersect a passing glance with a stranger in a restaurant, it's cause for a smile. But if the stranger locks eyeballs with you and won't break the stare, you will get uncomfortable. Sustained eye interaction is reserved for people we know and even that is proportionate to how well we know them. Why? Because looking someone squarely in the face is an intimate act.
You find the same principle in Scripture. God understands that eye to eye stares reach all the way down to our soul. To see and be seen is intimacy. So we are commanded "You have said, 'Seek My Face. My heart says to You, Your Face Lord do I seek!'“ (Ps.27:8) God calls us to turn our attention toward His Face - to lock our gaze upon Him. The same truth is also found in reverse. Often we call out to God and ask Him to turn His Face to us. "Restore us O God of hosts; let Your Face shine that we may be saved." (Ps.80:7) When God's Face shines upon us, we are in the midst of His blessing. "The Lord bless you and keep you, The Lord make His Face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift His Face upon you and give you peace." Num.624-26
So the hope and help for each believer are to see and be seen by God. We are to take a posture of life where we can look at God in the Face and allow His eyes to focus on our own soul. That's why prayer is an intimate act. It is spirit to Spirit - eye to Eye - face to Face connection. It is grounded in love and affirms the relationship of grace God has invited us to. It is the idea behind Paul's hope for the Ephesians that they are granted, "a spirit of revelation...having the eyes of your hearts enlightened." Paul wanted them to see - to receive the grace of God's Face shining upon their souls.
How does that happen? Are we talking about an ecstatic experience of peering into a fog of Mystery? God's answer is more concrete than that. He has come in Jesus Christ - God with a Face - Someone to see. Even though I live past the opportunity to witness His facial features - there is something given to all of us. God has shone the brilliance of His glory into our hearts - "in the Face of Jesus Christ." (2 Cor.4:6) God has turned His Face towards us in the Face of Jesus Christ. I will find grace, peace and blessing as I turn towards the Face of Jesus Christ. So, prayer is less about getting specific answers - though I celebrate each one! Prayer is the gaze of my soul upon God and welcoming the grace of His Eyes upon my heart - it is seeing God face to Face.