YFers – here’s a bulletin article which appeared at church last Sunday.  Just thought I’d repost it here for those who missed out.

Take a moment and have a look at your own hands. Whether rough or gentle, calloused or delicate, our hands – just as the rest of our bodies – were created to bring God glory. They are instruments of worship.

You may wonder why some people choose to lift their hands while singing to God.  Throughout the Bible, many references call on God’s people to outwardly express their praise, repentance, humility and dependance through lifting their hands. It is never rebuked by God, but is instead commended as an action. Here’s just a few:

» 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.

» Psalm 119:48 – I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.

» Psalm 134:2 – Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!

» Psalm 141:2 – Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

» Lamentations 3:41 – Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven…

Clapping is another outward expression by which we can praise God:

» Psalm 47:1 – Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

» Psalm 98:8 – Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together

This is definitely not a requirement for you to lift your hands or clap while you sing. Rather, it’s an encouragement for you to freely express your love for God in any way the Spirit compels you to. Our body language allows us to express praise and exhortation. If you feel the call or desire to do so, then go for it – whether it means standing, sitting, clapping, closing your eyes, lifting your hands, getting on your knees, even dancing.

At the end of the day, worship is ultimately to God and for God. As you focus on Him, dignity and pride pale into insignificance – just have a look at how King David let go of his dignity and danced before God with all his might in the joyous scenes in 2 Samuel 6!

It also gives cause for us to carefully consider what we do with our hands, for though it was made for worship, in rebellion we have often used it for sin. We need to plead with God and ask that He’ll grant us renewal and forgiveness.

May we freely worship Him from the very cores of our being.

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