The Lifting of Hands

Let my prayer be set before you as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. (Psalm 141:2)

Even though I’ve attended church all my life, I was never exposed to the lifting of hands.

Then, one day my world changed. After we were married, Greg and I moved to Cincinnati and quickly found our home church. We made friends that are like family still today. One of those good friends raised his hand during a worship song. My first thought? Why is Ralph asking a question now?!

Hear me, I wasn’t upset by it or making fun of it… it was just something new for me. This simple act of worship was just new. It’s hard to believe that was over 20 years ago. As with many things, I really began to think about and ponder this act of worship. What does it mean? What does the Bible say about it? How do I feel about it?

Some people believe the raising of hands is a modern act of worship. However, the early church regularly raised their hands in worship and prayer. Leah, in Genesis 29, raised her hands in worship, as did King David in Psalms, as did Jesus as He ascended. So, I understood better what it meant and what the Bible had to say about it. After I searched the Word, it was time to search my heart.

The answer for me was very simple. I was simply reaching out to my Father.

There is nothing as tender as a child running up to a parent with their arms lifted. My son used to scamper up with chubby legs and curly hair and a little “up please” was all it took. My heart melted and I’d scoop him up like a champ. Y’all, I have to believe my Father feels exactly the same way.

Hear me, there is no magic in raising your hands. It isn’t mandatory. It doesn’t make your worship any more important or meaningful. The truth is, it’s simply an outpouring of worship. It just wasn’t an easy experience for me… but now, I feel myself reaching out to my Heavenly Father, and it takes on a new depth. The Lord led me to experience something new… which begs the question: it’s not just if you raise your hands in worship -- it’s more about is God leading you to try something new?
 
Lord, open my heart to You in worship. I know You aren’t watching for my hands, but for my heart to be lifted to You, and I am thankful. Fighting from our knees and remembering the battle belongs to You… Amen.

By Carrie Peterson
 
Carrie is happiest with her people and a pen in hand!  

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