The difference between a traditional phone call and video chat is… the face! Transmitting audio and visual images, video chatting allows each person to both hear and see the other. It has changed communication, even becoming a staple for grandparents to say hello or goodnight to grandkids.
This is because the face is powerful. Think of a baby staring at its mother’s face intently, seeing the changes in expression, and responding with smiles, giggles, or frowns. Neither is saying anything, but they are communicating everything.
Imagine what it would be like if there were a video chatting app, like FaceTime, for prayer. If you could look directly into Jesus’s face while talking to him, it would revolutionize prayer.
We are often encouraged to “seek the face of God more than the hand of God.” Why? Because too many times we pray for God to give us things rather than using prayer to seek his face. For the sake of this article, let’s remove the “k” from seek and imagine that we can see the face of God. What changes would that bring about in your prayers?
Praying to See the Face of God
The Greek word most often translated as “prayer” in the New Testament is the word proseuche. This word is used approximately 127 times in the New Testament. It is a combination of two words. The first roughly translated means “face to face.” The second word means “vow” or “sacrifice.” Thus, the resulting proseuche could be translated as a face-to-face, intimate relationship with God by people who are willing to sacrifice everything for him. That is a transformative view of prayer.
It would be amazing if we could visibly experience the face of our Savior, to see him whom we love with our physical eyes. Although we can’t do that now, until then we can imagine. Put on your holy imagination glasses and read the accounts of Jesus’s life while focusing on his emotional interactions.
What Is Jesus Really Like?
So, close your eyes. Picture the face of a brown Middle Eastern man named Jesus, a man with a beard and the brightest, most piercing eyes you have ever seen—and they are looking right at you.
Picture his face of:
- Joy when, at age twelve, he taught the teachers in the temple
- Seriousness when he told John the Baptist to do his job of baptism
- Indignation when he looked at those keeping the children from him
- Pleasure when he gathered the children around him
- Annoyance when he saw Peter’s weak faith and pulled him out of the water
- Betrayal when he looked at Peter across the yard after the rooster crowed
- Agony when he was tied to the whipping block and beaten
- Forgiveness when he looked upon his torturers
- Love when he assigned John to care for his mother
- Triumph when he appeared in the room where the disciples hid after his death
The next time you pray, try a “FaceTiming” with Jesus. Picture the emotion on his face in response to your prayers. Picture the brown, bearded, love-filled face moved by your infirmities. Make the visual connection and enjoy his face.