I grew up (am growing up) in an Alliance Church. To anyone who is not part of an Alliance Church, let me explain why this is significant. (At least for me) When we sing during church worship, our hands are folded or at our sides. No one is dancing in the aisles or anything like that. It is just a calm, worshipful atmosphere.
Recently, I was given the opportunity to go to a Third Day concert, a part of their western Canada tour. If you are ever given the opportunity to go to a Christian concert, take it! (Even if you have to drive for a really, really long time to get there!) It is an amazing experience that is not to be missed. Anyways, I went to the concert and began ‘rocking out’ to the extent that my Alliance self would allow. (I can dance like crazy in my bedroom when the door is closed, but it’s a totally different thing to do in public) The music was incredible, the company was great, and the atmosphere was one of worship. Then the speaker came out and began talking to us, and had us do something that will stick with me for a long time.
He had us all raise our hands. For me, to raise my hands in public was a stretch. I mean, we just don’t do that at my church. Slowly, I did the same, relieved that the people around me were doing it too. He began to pray for us, that whatever we had a need for, that God would place in our outstretched hands. Whether it be comfort, or healing, or patience, or love for an enemy, that God would see our need and bring it into our grasp. This idea of God placing our needs in our hands just struck me and got me thinking about the simple act of raising our hands. I started really thinking later, after the concert, and realized three things about hands raised in worship:
1. We are reaching for God spiritually, and raising our hands a way to reach for Him publicly and physically.
2. God does not care what other people around me think when I raise my hands in worship to Him. All he wants is a heart that is sincere.
3. Raising our hands is also a sign of hailing one as greater than you are. How can someone be embarrassed to do that?
If you were ever to walk into my church, you’ll know who I am. I’ll be the one by the front of with my hands raised, even if no one else’s are.
What are you in need of today? I don’t know, but I know God does. It never fails to amaze me how well God knows us. It’s like in Luke 12:7, "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” God knows everything about us, including our greatest need. May God place in your hands the greatest need of your heart. And don’t ever hesitate to raise those hands in worship!