Walking into a sanctuary full of people with their hands lifted toward the ceiling can be strange and intimidating for some, while many others don't even bat an eye. However, even those who are comfortable being in an environment where hands are lifted in worship, can find themselves struggling to participate. The good news is these feelings are natural, especially if one doesn't understand the importance of raising their hands during praise and worship.
So, why do we lift up our hands in worship?It's biblical!
The lifting of hands in worship is not a strange or weird practice of the charismatic church. In fact, we lift our hands as a natural response at sporting events, concerts, and the like... How much more then should we lift our hands to honor, reverence, and adore our God?
The Bible gives several instructions to and examples of lifting hands in worship. Here are a few...
Psalm 134:2, "Lift up your hands to the sanctuary and bless the LORD.
Psalm 146:3, "I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Selah"
Psalm 63:4,“I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”
Psalm 63:4 teaches us to declare our praise to the Lord through the action of lifting up our hands. This action of hands raised in worship is an expression of our commitment unto the Lord. So when we lift our hands we are in essence declaring, just as the scripture says, that we will praise Him as long as we live. Our expression of that declaration is in lifting our hands.
It is also important to note that the lifting up of hands is not limited to the Sunday morning worship experience. In fact, worship as a whole, is not a weekly event but a daily opportunity for us to connect with our Lord and Savior. Our life as disciples of Christ calls us to worship Him freely throughout the week.
So, don’t be afraid to worship the Lord with your hands lifted high - whenever and wherever an opportunity arises.