I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our postures in worship.  It’s so easy to put a label on what type of worship we have or what type of church we are.  It’s kind of ridiculous in a way.  Jesus tells us how to worship.  He tells us to worship in SPIRIT and in TRUTH.

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” John 4:23

It seems to me that we as a church try to make it mostly one or the other.  In my experiences and conversations, it is typically based on our experience.  We’ve had a bad experience on one end or the other, so we swing the pendulum all the way to the other side and neglect the former.

Okay.  Time for a personal example:  I was in a more charismatic church in Defiance, Ohio one weekend several years ago.  Classify this church however you may, but they had flag-waving worshipers at the front and on the sides of the room.  I was in the very front row, and I am in no way exaggerating…  As I saw the flag come toward my face, I had to pull out one of those slow motion “Matrix” moves, and I lean backwards to barely avoid the contact of the flag and my left temple.

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” John 4:23

That would be a bad experience.  …especially if I was hit.  In fact, I’ve had several bad experiences on this end.  …but we CANNOT let bad experiences dictate HOW we worship!  We are to worship the way Jesus tells us to worship as laid out in the Scriptures.  Remember: We are a work in progress through the sanctifying blood of Christ.  We are not perfected yet.  So why do we have expectations for the church to get it completely correct?

To be honest, with the deep truths the Lord has opened my eyes to in His word, I don’t know why I’m not dancing around and waving flags!  A healthy glance at Ephesians 2 seems like it should send us all spinning in circles!

This blog is to simply get the conversation started.  It seems to me that when knowledge and enlightenment of good things hits us, it normally produces some type of heart-felt action.  It worries me as a “worship minister” that we sing such amazing truths every Sunday morning and I see very little action.  I want to start simple and give a solid foundation for why we should participate in postures of worship.  We’ll look at one posture in depth, and I’ll give a brief foundation for a couple others.

Raising our Hands (Scriptural Support)

  • 1 Timothy 2:8 – I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;
  • Psalm 28:2 – Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.
  • Psalm 63:4 – So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
    (From the ESV Study Bible: “This activity of praising, blessing, and lifting up     hands takes place in the sanctuary. Lifting up hands is a sign of directing one’s     prayers and praise toward God, and helps the worshiper to focus his thoughts on     God. The ground of this expectation is verse 3: because your steadfast love is     better than life.” )
  • Psalm 119:48 – I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.
  • Psalm 134:1-2 – Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD!  Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!
    (Almost the ENTIRE Psalm is dedicated to this.)
  • Psalm 141:2 – Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
  • Lamentations 2:19 – “Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.”
  • Lamentations 3:41 – Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven:
  • Nehemiah 8:6 – And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
  • I Kings 8:22 – Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven,

Raising our Hands (Practical Notes)

“To me, it’s very much like a child that reaches up to his/her parent. The child wants to be close and held.” – Unknown

“To me, it’s very much like a child that reaches up to his/her parent. The child wants to be close and held.” – Unknown

What a beautiful picture.  We are the Lord’s sons and daughters!  How beautiful and glorifying to Him that we would want to reach up to Him and be held by Him!

In my own personal experience, it helps me direct my thoughts, prayers, praise, and heart to the Lord.

It’s interesting to me that we raise our hands to swear or attest truth.  …What is more true than the Lord God Himself!

I know this is so cliche on this topic, but just look at any sports arena or stadium.  Hands are in the air.  People are excited and celebrating what’s going on there.  …And just think of how lame it is in comparison to what the Lord has done for us.

Other Postures of Worship
This is just support for raising your hands.  There are so many postures of worship found in the Holy Scriptures:  raising hands; bowing down; laying facedown; clapping, dancing, and shouting; using trumpets, cymbals and other instruments; making a loud noise; speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; lifting our eyes, and the list goes on…

No matter what expression, we are to worship the Lord in SPIRIT and in TRUTH.  Therefore, it’s based on the truth of His Word and it comes from a heart that is responding to those great truths.  God is not a fan of worship that doesn’t involve your heart.  So, worship the Lord as your heart is close to Him and allow yourself to respond to the great things He has done!