The Scripture has a long history of people raising their hands in prayer, praise and worship. For example:
David wrote in the wilderness of Judah:
“I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.” (Psalm 63:4)
And from Meditations on the Law of the Lord:
“I will lift my hands to your commands, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.” (Psalm 119:48)
What are we hoping to touch by raising our hands? The Lord is not ‘up there somewhere’ but is in our hearts. Perhaps it is an attempt to take our hands off of ourselves and reach for something greater than we are. Maybe it is something we are trying to touch with our heart… our soul… our mind…? It could be just a reach of faith.
When someone gets robbed or apprehended they are told to ‘raise your hands.’ It causes one to be helpless. That may be the over-riding reason for raising our hands: it renders us helpless. I only know that nothing in more normal in prayer, praise and worship than lifting up our hands… at least it is for me.
“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven.” Jesus