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Should we raise our hands in worship to God?

Discussion in 'Semper Reformanda' started by Dietrich Johnson, May 17, 2022.

  1. Dietrich Johnson

    Dietrich Johnson Member

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    It seems to me that raising hands in worship to God is a personal matter, that should be neither (overly) encouraged nor discouraged. Is there a biblical reason that we should NOT raise our hands in worship to God (in a public setting amongst other Christians)?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
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  2. FutureAndAHope

    FutureAndAHope Just me Supporter

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    1 Sam 16: 7 For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

    Psa 28:2 Hear the voice of my supplications When I cry to You, When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

    There is certainly no biblical reason to stop raising hands in church. I actually find that I often raise my hands in prayer in church, it is symbolic of calling upon God, to reach out to him, to receive His Spirit's strength. We as Christians have God's Holy Spirit, but I believe there is a calling down, or emploring of God, to fill places that may be empty of God's presence with His touch.
     
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  3. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    God knows the heart. Raised or not , it is only the heart that matters.
    Blessings
     
  4. ByTheSpirit

    ByTheSpirit Pray always!!

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    Physical posture actually matters for a lot of things. Motivational coaches will tell you standing straight up and sticking your chest out some builds positive energy for your day and such. Well try worshipping with your arms crossed or in a posture of distaste. It's different from being open, arms raised etc. It imitates a small child coming up to a parent asking to be held. It's a completely different posture.

    Now yes, ultimately God only cares about the heart. But posture does impact worship as well.
     
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  5. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well I guess I am distasteful, I have never raised my arms. :sigh:
     
  6. ByTheSpirit

    ByTheSpirit Pray always!!

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    I didn't mean it like that. And sorry if that's how you feel. I think I actually put in my reply that God does really just care about the heart.

    I was only mentioning that body posture does actually affect our interaction with things, ourselves and others. That's not even just a religious thing.
     
  7. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ok but be careful there are those who are physically challenged and Christians.
    Thanks for sharing!
     
  8. ByTheSpirit

    ByTheSpirit Pray always!!

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    Be careful?
     
  9. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There is a time and a place. Myself, I didn't grow up in a church where that was practiced, except very quietly at times. When I have been in such a church, and someone visting who was loud and exuberant shouted and raised their hands right in front of me, yeah, it was very distracting, and not to just me. I almost got the impression that they came for the purpose of showing us how worship was to be done, but that is just how they affected me —I doubt that was actually the case. I do feel bad for those who want to do it and feel stifled.
     
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  10. ByTheSpirit

    ByTheSpirit Pray always!!

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    There are certainly those who raise their hands for show. But hand raising is not the only for show act in Christianity, so that alone doesn't make it "bad". Not saying that you are calling it so, just making a general statement.

    I like to think of it as an expression. I will do so from time to time in worship. Not a lot, and I have a physical disability that makes it very painful to do so. I'd say while worshipping just go with the flow. And even if it's uncomfortable, God sees your heart. I truly believe that.
     
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  11. tampasteve

    tampasteve Lost in the swamp Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

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    The Bible does not tell us to do so, nor prohibit us from doing so. There are valid reasons not to, but there are also valid reasons to do so. I think it is entirely a personal matter, but if it raises to the point of being a distraction or a show, then it should be discouraged at that point.

    I don't do it, I feel silly and it distracts me to do so. I just don't worship God in that manner, it does not draw me closer or make me worship in a more wholistic manner.
     
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  12. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional, Liturgical, Wesleyan, Orthodox Supporter

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    Just out of curiosity, are you talking about the Orans position of prayer?
     
  13. RileyG

    RileyG Veteran

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    I do not think there are any problems with it IMO
     
  14. RileyG

    RileyG Veteran

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    Isn't that mostly a Catholic thing? Someone can correct me if I'm wrong...
     
  15. sunshineforJesus

    sunshineforJesus is so in love with God CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    I raise my hands in worship as a sign of surrender to the Lord.
     
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  16. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional, Liturgical, Wesleyan, Orthodox Supporter

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    .
     
  17. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional, Liturgical, Wesleyan, Orthodox Supporter

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    Orthodox clergy use it at certain points during prayer, notably Syriac Orthodox priests during the Eucharistic Prayer, facing the altar. Syriac laity use it also. It is also a thing in the Novus Ordo Missae but I think it had been out of use for some time before, I am not sure. I do know there is an 2nd century icon showing a Christian praying in the Orans position, drawn with chalk on the wall of the Catacombs in Rome, indicating a probable location of a secret church meeting place.

    A lot of Protestants and Pentecostals have adopted it in recent years but historically the Protestant position of prayer was with the hands folded, which is also a position priests and other divine ministers and altar servers hold their hands in during processions in the Traditional Latin Mass.

    To my knowledge it was not historically used in Presbyterian or Reformed worship, where the bowed head and folded hands are very traditional.
     
  18. revybub

    revybub Member Supporter

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    If you feel led to and do it unto the Lord. Then do what you feel led to. David did dance. I mean. As long as you are being respectful and not doing anything that would be of any other sort of belief.
     
  19. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional, Liturgical, Wesleyan, Orthodox Supporter

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    Indeed the only church where I have seen it done organically by the laity is the Syriac Orthodox, where it is an ancient custom. In the UCC, which is a mix of Calvinist/Reformed and Wesleyan or other Arminian congregations (more Calvinist/Reformed, and at the time I was fully Calvinist, but the Wesleyan element is from the merger of the Christian Connection with the Congregationalists, producing the Congregational Christian Church which then merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Church, which was the Reformed half of the Prussian immigrant church in America, the Lutheran half being the LCMS; the two were initially united in the US as they had been forcibly unified in Prussia), in the more traditional parishes this was not seen, and I haven’t seen it at Park Street Church or other parishes in the CCCC (the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference which broke away shortly before the CCC became the UCC after merging with the E&RC as described above), but in some more experimental churches one did see it.

    I certainly do not recall it happening at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church when my favorite Reformed minister of the past century was in charge, Dr. James Kennedy, except perhaps at times when he was preaching he made the gesture, and he may also have made it albeit with his head bowed while praying in a most reverent manner, I don’t recall his hands being folded, I could be mistaken. Videos of his services used to be on the Internet but lately I can’t find one. If someone with access to a large library of the footage uploads many episodes of the Coral Ridge Hour and the follow up program to YouTube, or can link me to a site with that content I would be filled with joy. His sermons can be found easily enough, but it was the entire worship service that was beautiful to watch. Whenever in my youth I was sick on Sunday I watched his services, and I attended Coral Ridge twice, once while he was still serving, and preached a fantastic homily, in 2006, in which he stated the possibility of certain events that are now occurring with the judiciary (I regret he is not alive to see it), and once in 2007 on the second Sunday after Christmas; Christmas 2006 was his last service where he delivered a beautiful sermon I listened to later, and then had the heart attack that would lead to his tragic death in the late summer of 2007.
     
  20. tampasteve

    tampasteve Lost in the swamp Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

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    I think (or at least I interpreted it as) the OP means more along the lines of what one sees in charismatic churches during worship, the raising of hands and such. That could be included in prayers, and is often seen in the petitions as well, but not so much in the meaning or manner of the Orans position in a liturgical prayer - this is generally more "spontaneous". Many people see it as the "Spirit" leading them to do it, I don't agree with that position, but that is what it is.
     
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