WHY DO WE… RAISE OUR HANDS?

Have you ever wondered why some Christians lift their hands in worship while others don’t? Is it
just a matter of personal preference or are there actual reasons for why we ought to consider lifting our hands?

At Parramatta Christian Church, we encourage our members to lift their hands to God during our times of community singing. Why? We see three main reasons:

Because The Bible Encourages Us To Do So
At least nine passages could be cited; here are two of them:
Psalm 63:4 – “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”
Psalms 134:2 – “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.”

It’s clear from the Bible, in particular the book of Psalms, that worship in the church service (“the sanctuary”) included the lifting up of hands in song.

Because Worship Is A Whole Body Experience
As we’ve seen above, the Bible urges us to use our whole bodies in worship. The Apostle Paul also says in Romans 12:1, “In view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – the is your true and proper worship.”

Of course, Paul is talking about much more than the need to lift up our hands during our times of singing at church, but he certainly doesn’t mean anything less. To offer to God our “bodies” in worship must involve using our bodies (including our hands) while we sing to him!

Because Of The Relationship Between Our Emotions And Our Hands
Our hands are constantly communicating and expressing our various emotions. For example:

  • Anger: we may shake our fist or point our finger.
  • Frustration: we may throw up our hands in the air.
  • Surprise: we may put our hand over our mouth.
  • Excitement: we may resemble Lleyton Hewitt and do a fist pump.

Whatever the emotion, we find fitting ways to express them by involving our hands. In fact, it’s
almost impossible not to do so! Surely then, when it comes to expressing the various emotions of
our heart to God, our hands ought to be engaged. Some examples would include…

  • Dependence: “Father God, my hands are outstretched to you to demonstrate my need of
    your protection and provision.”
  • Surrender: “Father God, I lift my hands to you because all I have and all I am is yours.”
  • Vulnerability: “Father God, here I am with my hands raised to heaven. My life is yours to
    search and sanctify.”
  • Affection: “Abba Father, hold me and surround me. I give you my heart.”

So the reason why we encourage (not mandate) “hand raising” is not because we’re Pente-coo-coos, but because we want to follow God’s Word by worshipping him with our whole bodies, and by expressing our many emotions to God by lifting up our hands to Him during our times of community singing.

PUTTING INTO PRACTICE…

The next time you find yourself at one of our church services, how about you give this “hand lifting” thing a go? You may experience God in a whole new way.