I talk with my hands to the point that it is hard to type my blog entries due to the excessive use of hands while expressing my thoughts. So why did I use have so much trouble figuring out what to do with my hands during worship. Now granted I play guitar so I avoid the awkward “Ricky-Bobby-esque” moments of not knowing what to do with my hands during worship. I mean I could see everyone around me at church and other worship events raising their hands but I never understood why. My more charismatic friends never understood my hesitations and questions, I mean it’s a part of life for them. They are born with lifted hands. So one day, who remembers how long ago, I decided to dig a little to figure out why we raise hands. I mean I talk so much with them (and Xtina and other diva’s sing so much with them) why didn’t I use them when worshipping?
There are two main themes I came across when digging into this subject, Supplication and Blessing.
Supplication – to ask or beg for something earnestly or humbly. Stretching forth one’s hands is a gesture common in many different cultures to implore another person to help. One thing we represent when we lift our hands in worship is a desire to invoke God’s help. It also seems to be deeply connected to more than just the physical person as well, it reflects the inner person. “I stretch out my hands to thee; my soul thirsts for thee like a parched land” (Psalm 143:6). Hands mirror the soul stretched out to touch God, “… for to thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul” – verse 8 – “Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven” (Lam. 3:41, NIV). The lifting of hands is an outward representation of a lifting of the inner being to be in communion with God.
The other major theme that showed up was Blessing. We lift our hands in blessing to God. David lovingly calls to his faithful God: “So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name” (Psalm 63:4). “Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God; and all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen,’ lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (Nehemiah 8:6). “To lift up the hands” is a gesture that expresses adoration in the context of worship.
So why do you lift hands in worship services? Why don’t you? I mean I myself am not the most demonstrative worshipper but understand that some people are and really connect that way. So what do you think?