Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength, ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. I Chron 16:27-29
This is my little girl praising Jesus during the children’s worship service yesterday. I have to say, I’m envious of her spunk and natural ability to stand out in the crowd. That’s not one of my strong suits. In fact, I’m most comfortable sitting in the back of any event and that includes Sunday service.
I love the sincere beauty of a child worshipping her Jesus. She knows she loves Him and her hands instinctively reach for heaven. She doesn’t mind if the other kids might look at her or if they’re bothered by it.
But if you are like me and haven’t always been around those who raise their hands to worship you may not be as comfortable raising your own hands. I’ve been a part of churches where raising your hands is natural for most of the congregation and others where no one raises their hands and it would be frowned upon to do so.
I’ve heard, “I hate it when people raise their hands. It’s distracting and we’re not at a concert.”
I don’t feel that way when I see folks worshipping with hands uplifted to heaven. I love it. I only see someone loving their Jesus and being His girl (or guy) in an intimate moment where their heart is on Him and longing for Him.
Who are we to decide how someone else worships? Whether your hands are uplifted or not, we are there for our focus to be on Christ – not ourselves and not on the gal 3 rows up who has her hands up, or in the next row over who is swaying to the music – I am the one swaying. To some degree it is a concert. A concert of His beloved uniting in praising His Holy name.
The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud… 2 Chronicles 5:13
Would you like to have uninhibited childlike love for Jesus? Are you like me and longing to throw your hands in the air but too shy to do it? Do you think raising hands is distracting?
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I was raised in a Pentecostal environment where raising your hands was the norm…as was running the asles and shouting (dancing in the Spirit).
I was always hesitant to do the same for a few reasons. One, I worried too much what others would think of me, two, I am 5′ 11″ which usually puts me head and shoulders above everyone else, and raising my hands was, in my mind, a move that would draw more attention than I desired to me. I get enough of that on the height alone!
I am a prodigal, brought back very recently by nothing but the mercy and grace of an awesome God. I would not lable the church I attend as a “Pentecostal” church, though their teachings as far as salvation are the same. We refer to it as an inter denominational church since we have 10 different represented “religions”. (I’ve always felt it didn’t matter what you called yourself as long as you were following the proper instuction manual)
We raise our hands, clap our hands, shout Hallellujah and let God move among us as He wills. I am still timid about raising my hands in church in praise, but I feel that God showed me something recently that is causing me to overcome that.
I began reading a book by David Platt called ‘Radical’, and in the very beginning of the book, he writes about church services in a foreign country. They have to hold services in secret due to the threat of losing their lives should it be found out they are worshiping Jesus, or teaching/learning His gospel. The thought struck me upon reading that, that here I am in AMERICA. A free country, where it is still “legal” to fellowship with others under the name of Jesus. Where I will suffer nothing…but maybe a little too much pride by raising my hands to my God. Why should I hold out over that when there are others willing to LOSE THEIR LIVES for the priveledge of worshipping Jesus and spreading His gospel to others.
In reflecting on that, and reminding myself of it each time I attend service, I am overcoming Satan.
I remember an old song we used to sing in church…
“Smile a while
and give your face a rest
Raise your hands
to the one you love the best….
Turn around to someone new
shake their hand
I hear ya; although I have “learned” to love to lift up my hands in surrender when worshipping Jesus, but I don’t worry about anyone else not doing it or if any one’s looking at me. I heard once that lifting up our hands in worship is like being a child, lifting up her arms to her Daddy, seeking to be picked up. I like that.
“In fact, I’m most comfortable sitting in the back of any event and that includes Sunday service.” NOT to change the subject, but…does that mean your not gonna sit 3 rows from the front with me again? 😉