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What Does the Bible Say About..Raising Hands?

I was just told today by our pastor that it is an absolute requirement to raise your hands high when praising God. I raise my hands at about shoulder height when I feel like it, otherwise I do not. My husband is not at all comfortable with outward expressions like that so he just sits and praises quietly. The Pastor said that not raising his hands makes God grieve and Satan rejoice.


I know of no scripture that requires raising hands high when praising God. The only passage I can find that refers to raising hands is: “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” (1 Timothy 2:8-10) The raising of hands here was probably the Jewish way, which is palm up at shoulder level. Paul refers to it only in the context of prayer, not other forms of praise. And he may not even be talking about literally raising hands. (See http://www.minuteswithmessiah.com/question/raisehands.html for my previous answer about that.) If anyone says it is “an absolute requirement” then they should be able to show you the scripture that makes it so. He will not be able to do so. He especially will not find any passage about it making God grieve and Satan rejoice.

If this man is teaching things as requirements that he cannot find in the Bible, it might be a good idea for your own sake to consider finding another congregation, where the Bible is taught rather than one man’s unsupported ideas.

Note: This questioner later wrote that the individual in question said the questioner could not challenge him because he could only be challenged by "another prophet." I again brought up the possibility of changing to a congregation where the preacher or elders were more humble and more respectful of scripture.