Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord. Psalm 134:2 NIV
May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2 NIV
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:4 NIV
Have you ever been in a worship service where you sincerely felt like lifting your hands in praise to God—but you didn’t? You held back.
Maybe you didn’t want to draw attention to yourself, or perhaps it felt awkward because this wasn’t a common practice in your particular church. And yet, God’s word clearly says to “lift up our hands,” not only when we are worshiping alone at home but “in the sanctuary.”
I’m addressing this issue because I am one of those who sometimes “holds back” on lifting my hands in praise to God—even when my spirit is moved to do so. Although I grew up in an atmosphere where raising our hands was completely accepted as an appropriate expression of worship, some of the settings I have been in over the years have been more reserved.
I’ve decided that some of it is my own personality. I’m a bit reserved—until I get to know you. Or maybe it’s a pride thing. If that’s the case, I need to get over myself.
There is a counterfeit for everything. That being said, let’s not allow a fear of being perceived as fake keep us from humbly worshiping our Lord—with hands raised at times—when it comes from our heart.
Each of us has our own individual personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. Many worship from their heart and never consider raising their hands toward heaven.
That is certainly a personal choice and we know that God receives our praise—He looks on our heart.
For those of us who desire to lift our hands to God in worship but have held back for various reasons, maybe it’s time to prayerfully search our heart. Why not set aside the barriers we have set up and humbly and authentically draw near to God in worship.
Let’s make it about Him—not about us!