Yesterday I wrote about 1 Timothy 2:8 being the inspiration for the song Unchanging which includes the lyrics so we raise up holy hands / to praise the holy One / Who was and is and is to come.” I said that this verse cannot be used to prove that we are given license to raise our hands while we sing for two reasons. First, the context of the verse shows that it applies specifically to men and second, it speaks of prayer, not singing.
Since I posted that there has been a bit of discussion in the forum about raising hands in worship and I thought I would post a few thoughts on that.
I will start by stating that I have never had a real problem with people raising hands during singing. There was a time when I was encouraged to try it out and was told that it made the experience of worship more intimate. I was told that raising hands to God was similar to the act of a child reaching out to hold his fathers hand. So I thought about trying it, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that there was no way I could do it without it being very artificial. Though others may not have noticed this, I knew that I would be so self-conscious of what I was doing that it could not be a real act of worship.
The questions I would ask about raising hands in worship are:
I know that there are many reasons people raise their hands. In some churches various gestures carry specific meanings. For example, two hands raised with palms turned inward is a posture of surrender whereas two hands raised with palms turned outward is a posture of receiving (as in receiving Gods blessing). Because hand-raising can have different meanings depending on who does it and how they do it, I guess there will be different ways of justifying the act.
So are you a hand-raiser? Were you a hand-raiser? Lets discuss this a little bit