Question: Why do the saints raise their hands while singing? I want to know so I can enjoy their blessing also; but first I need to know the reason.
Answer: You are entitled to know why the saints do anything that they do as a regular practice. The reason that saints raise their hands while singing the beautiful, inspired songs of Zion is that the inspiration in the song finds a response in their hearts and they express that by raising their hands. It is also a means of testifying to victory in their souls along the line of truth being expressed in the song. Also it signifies an acceptance in their hearts of the particular truth in the song.
We read in Lamentations 3:41, “Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.” In this text is indicated that the lifting up of the hands has a direct connection with something transpiring in the heart, and in the case of singing indicates that one knows in his heart what it means and is accepting and experiencing in his heart what is being sung. This same thought in regard to the lifting up of the hand is expressed in Isaiah 49:22 in showing God’s attitude of outreach to the Gentiles. It says “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people:…” The lifting up of God’s hand to the Gentiles signified His acceptance of the Gentiles into His salvation, the same as our lifting up our hands signifies our acceptance of the truth being expressed.
We have the same thought further expressed in Psalm 119:48, “My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved;…” This signifies an acceptance and love for the commandments of the Lord.
In Lamentations 2:19 it says, “…lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.” Here the hands were to be lifted up in entreaty and prayer for mercy from God in the time of extreme trouble and great need. Sometimes when a certain truth is being presented in song or preaching or however a person may feel a need of mercy and additional grace to fully measure to the standard on that line, he may lift his hand as a supplication from his heart for that mercy and grace while at the same time submitting to it that it is right.
Psalm 63:4 says, “Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.” Psalm 134:2 says “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.” These two texts carry the same thought which is that the raising of the hands is a means of expressing the individual’s blessing and praise to the Lord. We have a song which says, “Lift up your hands and praise the Lord.” When one lifts up his heart with his hand in this respect in praise, adoration, and blessing unto the Lord in the Spirit, it has an “electrifying” effect to inspire the whole congregation sometimes.
In former years there was much more of this than we see now and many times there were many hands up and much shouting and rejoicing and the spirit of the Lord would come down in great anointing, power and blessing. The word from here is that you just go ahead and raise your hand when you feel like it and know that you are on good scriptural grounds when you do it and enjoy the blessings along with the others.