What Does “Seek the Face of God” Mean?

The primary focus for a church or individual that is seeking to be revived and restored to their rightful relationship and place with God is by “seeking God’s face.” The phrase “seek my face” means to seek his presence, as the below verse shows.

“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 Chron. 7:14).

When we speak of God’s presence we can look at it three ways:

  1. We are always in God’s presence because He is omnipresent; present everywhere at the same time. (Ps. 139:7-10).
  2. He made this promise to His people: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5); and, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mt 28:20; cf. Mt. 18:20).
  3. The third way is when God manifests His presence to us in tangible ways—ways that we can consciously and physically sense. When this manifested presence of God is not sensed we often hear people describe it like: “it feels as if God is a million miles away,” or “the heavens are as brass” (Deut. 28:23).


For a renewal in our relationship with God, or for a revival in our churches, it is this third way of seeking the presence of God that we are referring to.

When we get spiritually neglectful the presence of God is not sensed and we feel like we are trying to live this spiritual life without His empowering strength, without his grace. It is then that we have to:

  • Confess our neglectfulness or sin that has directed our attention towards other pursuits.
  • Repent and turn back to Him and begin to “seek His face.”

How Do We Seek God’s Face (seek His presence)?

First of all, God is not hiding, nor is He lost. It’s not that type of seeking we are speaking of. When we use the biblical phrase “seek God’s face,” we are focusing our thoughts and attention on God—and this is a constant and habitual practice that we must discipline ourselves to do. Our human nature, the desires and cravings of our physical bodies, pride, etc., can become like a curtain, and they block us from sensing His tangible manifested presence. It is through this curtain that our focus must penetrate.

Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.………..…     (1 Chron. 22:19)

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (Col. 3:1-2)

When we sit down and watch a movie we disengage our minds and allow the movie to lead it wherever the plot takes us. To seek God’s presence we do the exact opposite; “with minds that are alert and fully sober” (1 Pet. 1:13) we intentionally and consciously focus on God, His glory, His attributes, scriptures, and anything that will endear us to Him. It is a conscious choice to direct the heart toward God. This is what Paul prays for the church:

“May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” (2 Thess. 3:5)

This seeking of God is a conscious effort on our part, but the desire and power to seek God comes to us as a gift from God.

The Bible is an ideal tool to help us focus our attention on God. We can use Bible verses and meditate on them all day long to help us keep Him in our thoughts. We’ve made a list of Bible verses that could be used to “pray through” as we “seek the presence of God.” That list is found on our post titled: “Prayer Guide for Seeking God’s Presence.”

When we are ruthless with ourselves in our pursuit of God’s presence, we will be aware of activities that distract us from focusing on God. We must then consciously avoid those activities and make a time commitment only toward activities that draw us closer to Him.

When God begins to draw a person or church to Himself, after they experience periods of spiritual dryness, that person or church needs to act on the grace that has been extended to them or the drawing power of God may pass away, never to return. We must seek Him while He may be found…while He is actively drawing us. That is what Isaiah indicated when he wrote:

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.….. (Isa. 55:6)

There are seasons of grace in which God will draw a person or a church back into a right relationship with Himself again (Jn. 6:44), and that individual or church needs to act decisively when the Holy Spirit is stirring the waters (Jn. 5:1-4), or the season could pass and that stirring may never come again.

This “seeking the Lord” involves sincere prayer, calling, pleading, etc., and what we see from a number of verses is that the proud person has the hardest difficulty in seeking God.

In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. (Ps. 10:4).

This same line of thought can be seen in 2 Chron. 7:14, where we are told to “humble ourselves.”

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face…”

In all our searching, longing for, hungering, thirsting for, etc., etc., God promises that all our effort will be rewarded.

“If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” (1 Chron. 28:9)

“he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Heb. 11:6)

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