Browse By

Raise Your Hand If You Know The Answer

We encourage it in worship and, as worship leaders and worship pastors, we are pleased when we see praise being offered by raised hands – but do you ever wonder why more people don’t raise hands in worship? I have a hunch – and that hunch surrounds one thought…

…most people don’t know WHY we raise our hands!

Let’s be honest for a moment. The average worshiper generally views hand-raising in worship as one of a few things:

  1. an expression of worship
  2. “just something you do, I guess”
  3. Something that some people do to show how into worship they are.

The baseline for this is that we often fail to explain exactly why we should raise our hands in worship. So…why do we? I’m glad you ask. As worship leaders/pastors we should think along the lines of didactic worship – the “how’s” and “why’s” of what we do in worship. Occasionally in worship, I may explain to the congregation raising hands like this:

“Some of you may be visiting here and have seen – or are regular attenders and often wonder when you’ve seen: ‘why are peple raising their hands?’ That’s a good question. Raising hands is an expression…and not too strange of an expression. In biblical times, the sign of a covenant loyalty was to raise a hand. Covenants were also shown by scarring the wrist. When someone subject to the authority of a monarch would find himself/herself in the presence of the monarch, he/she would raise their wrist to allow the monarch to see their scar. The scar would remind the monarch of his responsibility to defend and protect his servant.

We live in a much different time – but we still raise hands in today’s world. When we go to a sporting event and our team scores…we often raise our hands as if to shout “yes!!!!” in excitement for the victory of the team. In the same way, can’t we be just as excited about what God does for each of us each day? It starts by waking up and taking the first breath and realizing that God gave us breath in two lungs that we don’t deserve…and the amazing wonders God does for us go on and on from there. Are these not things to celebrate? That’s why I raise my hands in worship. If you feel lead to offer your excitement in God’s love during worship – then by all means…celebrate!”

Admittedly, I don’t often give the entire explanation – but it is well worth it to fill people in on from time to time and, often, gains a more genuine response in worship than those who tend to lift hands only by example. With that said – I’d love to hear your reason for raising hands in worship? Join in the discussion below in the comments section

Serving with you,