We often speak of God's presence like it's a commodity, something we can have more of or less of. But the truth is, God's presence cannot be separated from God's person.
Here's the best news of all:
In Jesus, we have seen the face of God, we have beheld the glory of God.
So, why do we beg and plead for God to "show us His glory", when that prayer of Moses came to a brilliant fulfillment in Christ? It is true that through the Spirit, we can experience the power of this reality, and sense the manifest presence of God with us when we gather because of His abiding presence with us. But this experience-- whatever you think it is: warmth, chills, goosebumps-- is not the same as the presence of God Himself.
For all who are in Christ, we are not desperately praying for God to "show Himself"....He has! Jesus has come! Instead, we pray that our eyes would be opened, that our ears would hear. We pray that like the disciples on the road to Emmaus we would have eyes to see and hearts that burn because Jesus has revealed Himself through Scripture and Sacrament (this is what happened in Luke 24).
When we pray, "Turn your face to me", it's a way of saying that we will turn to Him, that we won't look away from the One who has turned toward us, ever and always, in Christ.
For more, watch this 2-minute video on the personal, presence of God:
[Note: These videos are part of "The Mystery of Faith Project" and are available as part of the iTunes LP. GET the ALBUM HERE. There's a book that accompanies this project, explaining my journey and many of these concepts. It's only $3 for a limited time. Buy on Amazon HERE. Buy on iBooks HERE. Buy on Barnes & Noble.com]