Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I've often thought about doing this, but haven't done it until today (when I was waiting just as fast as I could for a response from a colleague before I could really continue my work). I searched bible.gospelcom.net in the NIV for every reference to "hand" (which included any form of the word or any other word (like "HANDsome") which included it). My intent was to verify something that I'd long suspected: that the Bible doesn't talk about raising your hands in PRAISE (as is all the rage among progressive churches today), but rather in PRAYER.

Well, I was mostly right. Out of 1409 references to the word "hand," there is only one that says that we should raise our hands in praise:

"Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
and praise the LORD." (Ps. 134:2)
But there are twelve that say to lift your hands in prayer: Exodus 9:29; I Kings 8:38, 54; II Chronicles 6:12-13, 29; Ezra 9:5; Psalm 28:2; Psalm 143:6; Isaiah 1:15; Lamentations 2:19; Lamentations 3:41, I Timothy 2:8.

(The VAST majority were things like "lift a hand against" and "held in His hand," etc., but there were several regarding raising your hand in an oath and a few other miscelaneous ones).

So I guess I feel vindicated (although I wish that ONE hadn't been there)....but now I have no excuse to pray with my hands anywhere but in the air.

And on a slightly side note, this isn't to say that it's wrong for people to raise their hands while singing a "praise" song in church or where ever, since many of those are directed to God and are therefore prayers. I'm just saying that when we're "told" in church that it's Biblical to raise our hands in praise...well....yeah, that's in there once...but it's in there a whole lot more to raise your hands in prayer.

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