a way of expression…to open & raise your hands.
why? well, here’s a few why-nots to get things rollin’- nobody should be doin’ it if they feel pressured to or they’re just mindlessly complying with a worship leader, or if it feels extremely awkward or inappropriate. but it’s sure not a good idea to make a habit of ‘following your feelings’. sometimes i know that i personally have to go against my feelings & raise my hands in times of worship. worship & praise is often a sacrifice, after all. i was thinking today while driving home from a dentist app’t, why i sometimes raise my hand while worshiping in the car. i figure, well, i do it @ church & @ home; why not the car? so people might think i’m weird. Jesus was weird. what i got ta thinkin’ today was: why do people do it in the first place?
so i did a short study in the Word for some examples of raised or open hands & here’s what i found!
Aaron dedicated the Levites to the Lord as a “special offering“. later, he raised them to bless his people. solomon prayed in this way w/dedication & sanctification (setting israel apart from all nations, as God’s special possession). One man raised his hands to heaven as he took a solemn oath, ezra worshipped the Lord as a huge crowd joined in bowing w/hands raised & faces down. the psalms didn’t let me down w/references as a cry for mercy, an offering of praise, & my favorite passage in this study, ps.145:14-17, refers actually to His open hands (rather than raised); it is a beautiful mentioning of 3 ways He satisfies our needs, only possible w/an open hand (italics added):
14 The LORD upholds all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.
- as a symbol of surrender. in battle, when you give up your rights, when you give up fighting, & surrender to someone’s authority, that is what you do.
- as a way of saying ‘i give all i have’. everything ~ inside & out. you cannot give w/closed fists.
- to show outwardly that i want to rec’v (His blessings, forgiveness & mercy). again, you cannot receive gifts tangibly w/closed fists down at your side. i’m realizing again that these are all gifts, unearned, that i need to symbolically grab a hold of & accept as my own.
i guess some more reasons also could be to:
- physically change posture, helping you to focus & to humble yourself
- show as a response, “i know the Answer!” or “I agree!”
- show to God “here i am, i’m Yours! i am set apart & special…use all of me”… & in saying & displaying this, my grudges, my insecurities & my own agenda are pushed aside.