Lifting Hands

In my denomination we have a practice of raising our hands when we sing the doxology.
Why do we do this?

Psalm 134:2 says, “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary.”
1 Tim 2:8: “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands”

Most of our songs are prayers to God, and so we have chosen to lift our hands at a couple points of the worship service in particular, usually sung responses to the Word or at the end of the service. The point is to pick a time in the service to deliberately do this all together, like we kneel at confession. 

Psalm 95 says to kneel before the Lord in worship. It doesn’t say exactly when – we’ve chosen confession time to kneel.  Similarly, we’ve chosen sung responses as a time to deliberately, all together raise our hands. We don’t confine hand-raising or kneeling to these times. Some people lift their hands when a hymn is moving them. That’s great. We shouldn’t be bothered during worship when people do something Scripture directly tells us to do.

Lifting hands to God is a great opportunity to connect life to worship. It highlights the need for integrity, not hypocrisy, between the sanctuary and the parking lot. We ought to be able to hold up holy hands that didn’t hit our sister last week, that refrained from sexual temptation last night. Did we use our hands to work hard all week, or did our hands play 20 hours of x-box? Of course, if we are going to lift holy hands, then we need to confess our sins and receive forgiveness.

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