Forms of Worship Using the Body – Lifting Hands


There are 12 different uses for the lifting of hands outlined in scripture:

1. Supplication (A humble prayer of request.)

Ps. 28:2 Hear the voice of my supplications…when I lift my hands… Also Ps. 88:9; Lam. 2:19; Is. 1:15 (Amp.)

2. Repentance (A prayer of contrition or penitence)

Lam. 3:40-41 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

3. Praise and blessing God

Ps. 63:4 So will I bless Thee while I live; I will lift up my hands in your name. Also Neh. 8:6; Ps. 134:2

4. Worship

Ps. 44:2 If we have stretched out our hands to a strange God… This scripture is talking about the worship of false Gods; however, we also may lift our hands as we worship our King.

5. Thirsting or seeking after God

Ps. 143:6 I spread forth my hands to you; my soul thirsts after you like a thirsty land.

6. Prayer habit

1 Tim. 2:8 I desire therefore that in every place men should pray…lifting up holy hands.

Also 1 Ki. 8:22; 8:38; 8:54; 2 Chron. 6:12; 6:19; Ps. 141:2; Is. 1:15

7. Warfare

Ex. 17:11-12 “When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.”

8. Seeking, and as a sign of, divine power

Ex. 9:15 …I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee…

Also Ex 7:19; 8:5-6; 5:17; 9:22; 9:29; 10:21-22; 14:16; 14:26-27; Num. 20:11

9. Meditation

Ps. 119:48 My hands also will I lift up…and I will meditate on Thy statutes.

10. To bless others

Lu. 24:50 And lifting up His hands He invoked a blessing on them. Also Lev. 9:22

11. Making a solemn declaration or oath (As in a modern day court of law.)

Deut. 32:40 For I will lift up my hand to heaven and swear as I live forever…

Also Gen. 14:22; Is. 62:8; Dan. 12:7

12. A sign of the heart

Heb. 12:12 Lift up the hands that hang down.

Also Neh. 8:6; Job 11:13; Lam. 3:41


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