The Ways We Express Worship: Giving Thanks (Lifted Hands)


This series explores the different “shades” of praise and worship that we see throughout the Bible. Where in English we might only see the word translated as “praise” – there are several different meanings that can apply.

The Ways We Express Worship: Kneeling | Giving Thanks (Lifted Hands) | Surrender (Lifted Hands)  | Halal (Clamorous Celebration)


Today’s worship word is TOWDAH – Pronounced to-daw’ (8426)

This worship expression uses the lifted hands to express sacrifice, specifically things given up to show thankfulness to God. In a literal sense, the picture we have of this outward worship activity is extending the hands in agreement. In the same way that we understand a handshake as a sign of agreement, the lifting of our hands in worship is an outward sign of our “agreement” with God.

We “agree” with His promises. We can offer our thanks for those promises by lifting our hands. It’s not a requirement, but a sincere outward gesture of sacrifice specifically to SHOW our thankfulness to God!

In the King James Translation of the Bible (Psalm 50:23) we see: Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” The word “praise” in this scripture is TOWDAH, so this scripture can literally read: “Whoever gives offerings of thanks glorifies me…”

When we lift our hands (in agreement and thanks) we are not just drawing attention to ourselves by being a little “charismatic” – we’re actually spiritually extending our hands to the God of the universe, agreeing in thankfulness that His Word is true and that His promises are unfailing!

Do you lift your hands in worship and/or prayer? Do you “agree” with God and the promises He has made? Are you ok with showing that outwardly? How do you teach your congregation about worship “expressions?”

The Ways We Express Worship: Kneeling | Giving Thanks (Lifted Hands) | Surrender (Lifted Hands)  | Halal (Clamorous Celebration)


Russ Hutto is the Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church where he mentors, oversees and helps lead Family and Student worship environments. He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community.