The Hebrew word for ‘panim’ is panim and means ‘face, faces of man’ or seeing ‘face to face’ as with meeting God. Face in Hebrew is a plural word because of the many expressions of a ‘face:’ anger, adoration, jealousy, humility.
The root of tefillah is palal and has its foundation in the prayer of Pinchas (Phineas) and means ‘to judge’ (Numbers 25). Pinchas was a Levitical high priest who stood against idolatry and ‘judged’ a Midianite woman and Israelite man whose marriage had brought a plague upon the Israelites. This suggests that tefillah is the ‘judging of oneself before a holy God’ through self-examination.
These words always bring my lofty thoughts back down to earth where I actually live and breathe. I realize that I sound like a little field mouse telling the big lion what to do. God works in ways that I don’t. I may want someone’s eyes opened today to the goodness of Yeshua, but maybe tomorrow, next week or next year would be the better time. I’m impatient.