Holy Hands

Holy Hands

Pastor Don Carpenter

Building Blocks of Worship

We believe in the Trinity. Catholics believe in the Trinity, but we are not Catholics. We use the King James Bible, Mormons use the King James Bible, but we are not Mormons. We believe in eternal security. Calvinists believe in eternal security, but we are not Calvinists. I could go on and on with this example. Just because we may line up with one or two points of doctrine does not mean that we are the same or that we embrace a certain denomination.

1 Timothy 2:8 KJV

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

When it comes to tonight’s subject though, many Bible believers shy away from actually being willing to lift hands in worship because that is what the Charismatics and Pentecostals do. While I understand that we do not want to be confused with their false teaching about tongues, extra biblical revelation, and the lack of eternal security, just because they lift hands does not mean lifting hands is wrong. What we need to do is examine the scriptures and see what the role of lifting hands is in the Bible, and then decide if we should include it in our worship practice today.  

Lifted Hands in Prayer

An Outward Symbol of Supplication

Psalm 68:31 KJV

Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.

Exodus 9:29 KJV

And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the LORD’s.

Exodus 9:33 KJV

And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.

1 Kings 8:22 KJV

And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:

2 Chronicles 6:12–13 KJV

And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands: 

For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven,

Holiness is Required

Isaiah 1:15 KJV

And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: Yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: Your hands are full of blood.

Psalm 66:18 KJV

If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear me:

Symbol of Intercession

Exodus 17:11–13 KJV

And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 

But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 

And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Lamentations 2:19 KJV

Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches Pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: Lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, That faint for hunger in the top of every street.

Symbol of Communion With God

Psalm 141:2 KJV

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; And the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Lamentations 3:41 KJV

Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

Lifted Hands In Praise

Tied To Verbal Praise

Psalm 63:3–5 KJV

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise thee. 

Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. 

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; And my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

Sign of Humble Praise 

Nehemiah 8:5–6 KJV

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: 

And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Tied to Public Praise

Psalm 134:2 KJV

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the LORD.

F. B. Meyer told of a revival meeting that was dragging along without signs of success until one evening an elder arose and said, “Pastor, I don’t believe there is going to be a revival as long as Brother Jones and I don’t speak to each other.” He went to Jones and said: “Brother Jones, we have not spoken for five years, let’s bury the hatchet. Here’s my hand.” A sob broke from the audience.

Soon another elder arose and said: “Pastor, I’ve been saying mean things about you behind your back and nice things to your face. I want you to forgive me.” Many arose and confessed their wrongs and God began to visit them. A revival swept over the community for three years.1

1 Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996), 1154.

Who knows what floodgates of blessing will open if we humble ourselves and offer up our cleansed hands in simple submission and worship. Perhaps we will see one day the power of lifted hands.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:22 PM June 10, 2021.

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