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Lifting Up Hands in Worship and Prayer

Updated on January 5, 2018

Lifting Up Hands

To Lift up the Hand


  1. To swear, or by oath to confirm a thing. Gen 14:22,

  2. To bless, Lev 9:22.

  3. To pray, Ps 28:2.

  4. To rise up in rebellion, 2 Sam 18:28; 20:21,

  5. To oppress, threaten, injure, or wrong in any way, Job 31:21. (Cruden 's Complete Concordance)

Moses lifting his arms before the Red Sea.
Moses lifting his arms before the Red Sea.
Aaron and Hur holding up Moses' arms
Aaron and Hur holding up Moses' arms

Biblical Examples of Worship and Prayer with Lifting Hands


When Christians worship and pray, they either clasp their hands or lift them up. However, the majority clasp their hands when praying. I cannot find the origin for doing this. The minority lift their hands up when praying and I cite the following verses.

Ex 17:10-11 - When he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed (Moses).

  • De 32:40 - I lift up my hand to heaven and say, I live for ever (Moses).

  • Ex 17:11 - And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

  • Ge 14:22 - I have lift out mine hand unto the Lord ... (Abraham).

  • Eze 6:14 - Will I stretch out my hand (Lord).

  • Ps 28:2 - Hear, when I lift up my hands (David).

  • Ps 63:4 - I will lift up my hands in thy name (David).

  • Ps 134:2 - Lift up your hands in the sanctuary (church) and bless the Lord.

  • Ps 141:2 - Lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice (David).

  • Ps 143:6 - I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah (David).

  • Lam 2:19 - Lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children (Jeremiah).

  • Mi 5:9 - Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off (Micah).

  • 1 Kings 8:54 - Solomon kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven (Solomon).

  • Lu 24:50 - And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them (Jesus).

  • 1 Ti 2:8 - I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting (Paul).

  • He 12:12 - Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees (Paul).



The men who prayed lifting up their hands include Abraham, Moses, David, Jeremiah, and Paul. Moses and Jeremiah are considered prophets and Paul was an apostle. Abraham is the father of faith and Jesus Christ, our Saviour comes from the line of David. Solomon also spread his hands up to heaven.

These are all men of great importance and we are supposed to follow their example. May God give us courage to change when we are wrong and may God forgive us when we follow the tradition of men who impose their will upon us. May we follow God rather than men. O Lord, open our eyes and hearts to know Thy will.

Thy will be done!



Questioning the Motive


I have been quite amazed all this while that the vast majority of Christians do not lift up their hands when they pray. They follow what is taught by the churches to clasp their hands while praying. I decided to ask a Christian engineer and this was what she said to me. She said we could pray in any position, sitting down, lying down, standing up and clasping our hands and God answered our prayers if we were earnest in our hearts. She did not see the importance of lifting up hands to pray to God. She was correct in some way.

The men quoted in the article were men of great stature lifting up their hands and praying on behalf of the congregation to God to grant them victory over their enemies, They were not praying for themselves but for others. Lifting up hands and praying for others are very powerful when praying for conquest of enemies, openiing a way in the Red Sea so 2 million people could cross over. Jeremiah was praying for the young children and Micah to overcome the adversaries, David on behalf of the people and Jesus blessing the population before He was carried up to heaven.

LIFTING UP HANDS IN WORSHIP AND PRAYER

Do you know that Moses defeated the Amalekites while lifting his hands to God in prayer?

See results

Do you know in Psalms 134:2 you are told to lift up your hands in the sanctuary (church)?

See results

Should you still resist in lifting up hands when praying to God? Even Jesus lifted up his hands when praying.

See results

© 2008 einron

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    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      It is sad that many read the article but refuse to greet our Lord in worship

      with hands raised.

      Blessed are you when you obey the Lord!

    • profile image

      ffrc 

      3 years ago

      I raised my hands to give this article a round of applause!

      We raise our hands as a sign of greetings, as a sign of victory and as a sign of respect and surrender to a our leaders, then why not raise our hands to greet our Lord in worship, the God who gives us victory and is worthy of all recognition and respect.

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Andrew0208

      How blessed it is for me to see what you said. Thank you very much. Peace and blessings!

    • Andrew0208 profile image

      Andrew0208 

      7 years ago from Zion

      I'm grateful to God for your life. I love coming to this hub for spiritual feeding and reassurance of His love. God bless you. Thank you.

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      naledi botswana

      Agree! Praise and thank God for the teaching! Amen!

    • profile image

      naledi botswana 

      7 years ago

      pls thnks a lot for that.we really ought to lift up our hands.have you ever seen what a child does when his loving dad arrives home?she/he will run to his/her father raising his hand.that is to say'father lift me up'same to us Christian we reverence God as our father who has to pick us up...bls u nd thnx 4 the wonderful teaching

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      revmjm

      Glad that you will edit this subject as a hub in the future.

      So many people know how Moses' upheld arms by Aaron and Hur won the victory over Amalek, and yet did not encourage their church members to do likewise. They rather clasp their arms and not glorify God by reaching their arms to Him for help.

      Glad you see the point I am making. Blessings and peace!

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 

      7 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thank you for this great teaching. This reminded me of a workshop I facilitated on this subject. I will edit and post it as a hub in the future.

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Andrew0208

      Ps 141:2 - Lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice (David). Thank you.

    • Andrew0208 profile image

      Andrew0208 

      8 years ago from Zion

      Great! Lifting up our hands in worship. "The lifting of our hands today has taken the place of the burnt offering in the Old Testament." He loves us so much!

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Patrick Amadiegwu (Switzerland)

      This is the first time someone from Switzerland commented on my writing. Thank you for agreeing that it is another step towards growth. I love the phrase!

      Peace!

    • profile image

      Patrick Amadiegwu( Switzerland) 

      8 years ago

      Thank you , It is inspiring, another step forward towards growth

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Thanks for your comments. Whenever one follows the Bible, it is absolutely correct and beautiful. God bless.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for this beautiful hub!

      I love to lift my hands to WORSHIP give PRAISE & THANKS to the LORD!

      To GOD be the GLORY!

      Blessings

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      skye2day,

      Thank you so much for saying I am anointed in my writing. I sincerely hope so for I believe the Lord is with me from my first written hub, "Prophecy: Isaiah 4:1 Seven Women and One Man". It is also written in Google First Page Rank. All glory to God.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 

      9 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Hi Thank you for sharing. I love to lift my hands to the Lord. The holy spirit is awesome. I am in as a new fan. I believe you are annointed in your writing. Please check out my hubs home remedies a2z and some spiritual writings as well. God Bless You Patti

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      anitariley65

      Thank you for your comments. Good for you. It means a lot for standing up doing the right thing.

      I had my secondary schooling in a Methodist school and I became a teacher in the Methodist Girls School and later in the Methodist Boys School though I am not a Methodist, but a Christian.

      Dont feel bad for lifting up your hand in prayer. Our family members are also the only ones who lift up hands while praying in the church. I hope more and more Christians will lift up their hands when praying.

      God bless.

    • anitariley65 profile image

      anitariley65 

      9 years ago from Little Town Ohio

      I grew up in a Methodist church, and don't remember anyone ever raising their hands. I now go to a full gospel church but visit our old church frequently and I cannot believe the feeling of stupidity I still feel when I'm the only one raising my hand or hands in that Methodist church. I don't know why and don't understand it. But I CHOOSE to still do it anyhow, because I think it's just the devil's way of suppressing. Hats off to you for this hub!

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      RGraf

      Thanks for the comment. Many Christian denominations do not teach raising hands in worship and prayer. God has not revealed it to them or they are too stubborn to follow. Hopefully when Christians see that so many great leaders, prophets and Jesus Christ also raising His hands in prayer, they may follow the practice. Praise the Lord God.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      I was raised to not raise our hands because that was going too far. I've always wished that it had not happened that way. I think that raising our hands is a natural way to worship.

      Great piece.

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Thank you, drpastorcarlotta.

      Am glad you agree. I really do not see why people do not agree that lifting up hands in worship is biblical. I hope that many will recognise that this is the truth.

      Love you too.

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 

      9 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Praise God!! Einron!! I am a Worship leader and I truly know what worship is all about!! Leading the people into the present of GOD!!!! GREAT HUB my friend!!!

      GREAT HUB!!!!!!!! Luv Luv

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      10 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Thank you soyelude. It is wonderful that you replied. I love comments whether they agree or not.

    • soyelude profile image

      soyelude 

      10 years ago from Lagos - Nigeria

      Thank you einron...good message.

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      10 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Thank you dayzebee for your comments. You are very welcome. I do not understand why so many people still clasp their hands instead of lifting up hands even when they see evidence of victories in battles with the devil.

    • dayzeebee profile image

      dayzeebee 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      thank you for leading me to this hub. appreciate it much. Godless,

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      10 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Thank God for Wbisbill and SirDent for agreeing what is biblical. You can't argue with what the Bible says. They are the words of God!

    • profile image

      SirDent 

      10 years ago

      Awesome hub on worshiping God.

    • Wbisbill profile image

      Wbisbill 

      10 years ago from Tennessee USA

      Lifting of hands is one of the primary worship activities dating back to the beginning of mankind and his relationship with God. Among other things the extending of hands is symbolically extended God to others through us. When we lift holy hands we are returning to God that praise which is His,

      Good hub!

      Thumbs up from a fan!

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      10 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Thanks christinekv!

    • profile image

      christinekv 

      10 years ago

      Nice hub!

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