So, you may recognize this blog post title if you came to the early service at our church this morning because we sang this song (and I know a lot of the people who read my blog go to my church). I heard this song earlier this week, and you know how sometimes when you listen to a song, it just stands out to you more than it ever has before? Sometimes lyrics jump out at you because of something you’re going through or God just lays it on your heart. Well, that’s what happened. God stirred something inside of me and told me that we needed to sing this song in worship at church. For those of you who do not know the song, the video is at the bottom of this post. The chorus says,
“With our hands to the heavens, alive in your presence, Oh God, when you come. So pour out your Spirit, we love to be near you, Oh God, when you come.”
There’s just something about lifting our hands up that is so special and intimate. It makes us vulnerable, and I think that’s why a lot of people don’t do it or don’t feel comfortable doing it. It’s a sign of surrender, and it can be scary and intimidating sometimes to show that on the outside. Of course you can always stand there and sing and surrender your heart to God, but lifting your hands up in worship, as Kari Jobe says, “is an outward sign of an inward position of our hearts.” It’s us physically showing God to come and fill our hearts with his presence.
I used to never know what it was like to lift my hands up in worship of our Creator, and now I can hardly refrain from doing it when I am worshiping. I had never experienced anything like that, because that was something that our church “just didn’t do”. The first time any of the youth raised their hands in worship to God was at a Student Life conference in Daytona three years ago. Everyone else there seemed so accustomed to it and looked so moved by God, while to us it was like being in a different culture. But we soon fit right in, after realizing how good it felt to surrender our everything to God and come before him with a humbled heart.
I know that this is not just something for younger believers to do, because people all throughout history have lifted their hands. In Psalm 134:2, the Psalmist wrote, “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.” And in Lamentations 3:41, it says, “Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven…”
So, if you are one of those people who lift their hands up in church, that’s awesome. Because it is intimidating, and I personally feel self-conscious when I do it because it’s still a slightly new concept to me, and I’m usually in front of everyone helping lead the songs. And if you don’t lift your hands but you want to, do it when you’re worshiping God alone, and once you become more comfortable, go for it in public if that’s what you feel God is moving you to do. I sit in my room sometimes listening to praise music and a song will just come on, and it’s like BOOM. Hands in the air because I am in awe of you, God. This morning it was so cool because during the third song we led, I looked out and saw so many people with their eyes closed and hands open or raised to God. It was just amazing because that used to not be a thing at our church. My prayer is that more people would come to experience genuine worship and surrender to God. Will you pray with me?
Lord, come fill us with your presence. Help us, as a church, to lift our hands to the heavens as an act of surrender to you. You are so good and glorious, and you deserve our everything. Help us to not feel intimidated by lifting our hands up but to feel your powerful love consume us and draw us closer to you in this act of worship. In your name we pray, Amen.
Here’s a video of Kari Jobe singing this song: