Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
36 And there was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, having lived with her husband seven years from her maidenhood,
37 And as a widow even for eighty-four years. She did not go out from the temple enclosure, but was worshiping night and day with fasting and prayer.
38 And she too came up at that same hour, and she returned thanks to God and talked of [Jesus] to all who were looking for the redemption (deliverance) of Jerusalem.
I remember when the Holy Spirit revealed to me the symbolism in these verses. A feeling of Holy excitement stirred my spirit as I thought about the name of Anna's father, Phanuel.
You might ask, what is so special about that name? Often, the Bible uses genealogy as a descriptor of a biblical character. The name Phanuel is special because of its meaning, "the face of God." Think of it using your holy imagination. As a child, Anna gazed adoringly into her earthy father's face. See loved and sought for intimacy with her daddy. This was a foreshadow of what was to come.
The prophetess, Anna, was one who dedicated her life to God through fasting and prayer. She sought the "face of God." Intimacy with her heavenly Father through worship and prayer was her desire both night and day. After eighty-four years of seeking the face of God through worship, was graced to see Jesus physically!
That revelation was one that solidified my desire to worship God, to seek His face. Anna's desire was stirred by grace, and it wasn't surprising to discover that Anna's name means grace.
Anna and I have much in common. God has reminded us of His grace through our given names. Over the course of my life, I could have been destroyed physically, emotionally and spiritually, BUT for grace, I continue to seek the face of my heavenly Daddy. And for as long as I live on this earth, I will continue to gaze adoringly.
As you walk your personal path into eternity, remember to seek the face of God, and His grace will flow. Be thankful for life, for destiny, and for the season of New Beginnings!