Many years ago in Selma, Alabama my brother and I came across a man in the woods with hands raised. He was yelling at the sky. The fellow was so engrossed in what he was doing that he didn’t see us. Crouched down and from a distance we watched as he asked forgiveness for something he’d done.
At the time it was spooky because I’d never seen an adult act like that. Running home and telling mother, she said some folks have different ways of getting God’s attention during prayer. She indicated there was nothing right or wrong about the methods used.
I often wondered why some folks pray in church with hands raised and others don’t. I was told by one person it depends on denomination of faith. That didn’t make sense because I’ve noticed Baptists as well as Pentecostals do the same.
Doing a bit of research I found various reasons for people raising their hands during worship. They do so: to show submission, humility, surrender, dependence, or reverence to God.
Raising hand or hands during worship can be traced to early day Israel. Aaron, the first High Priest raised his hands in prayer as he blessed the Israelites. This form of prayer is called a benediction. Depending on denomination, often times only a minister is allowed to do such.
The book of Psalms shows many examples of raising hands to praise God. I chose one as an example:
“Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the Lord.” (Psalms 124: 1 – 2)
I’ve never been a hand raiser in church but have no problem with folks that do. I raise one or two hands while praying in privacy of my home. My reasoning is different than most.
Just as a radio needs an antenna for better reception, I believe raising my hands to God gives me the same where transmitting is concerned.
I’m sure there are sceptics to my idea. That’s okay. Just as mom said there was nothing wrong with that man praying loudly in the woods, I see no problem with my utilizing hand antennas.
At times I wish I had longer arms!