I Lift My Hands (aka, Praise and Pride)

Written by Julie

On November 19, 2022

I didn’t know for years that if you really want to get to joy, there is only one road that will really get you there: thanksgiving.

I also didn’t know: Thanksgiving comes from the Hebrew word “Yadah”—which is to say YADAH, YADAH, YADAH means to give thanks, give thanks, give thanks.

“Give thanks (YADAH) to the Lord for his loving-kindess is everlasting.” (2Chr 20:21).

But I can’t stop thinking about how YADAH literally means: to acknowledge, to know what is true—to know & acknowledge the goodness of God that is always true.

“Oh that men would praise (YADAH) the Lord for His goodness” (Ps 107:15).
Related to YADAH (thank), is the Hebrew word YADA—which means to know, but to know intimately, like Adam knew (YADA) Eve (Genesis 4:1)… like Moses asks to know God: “Please show me now your ways, that I may know (YADA) you in order to find favor in your sight.” (Exodus 33:13).

And both of these related words, YADAH and YADA come from the word YAD—the Hebrew word for hand.

Which is to say what I can’t get out of my head, that the bottom line is:

If our hand has stretched out to know God—
our hands will stretch up to thank God.

If our hands have ever intimately known the face of God, the kindness of God, we cannot help but ultimately raise our hands in thanksgiving to God.

Ultimately: To know God is to thank God.

Which means:

If we aren’t daily thanking God—have we ever really known God?

If we have truly known God’s heart for us, how can we not raise our hands in thanksgiving to Him?

If we take time to truly know & notice the grace of God in our days, how can we not acknowledge God with our daily thanksgiving?

Count 16 gifts a day & you count #1000gifts by the end of the year, & you finish the year strong & begin the next year knowing God.

What could be a better way to begin the holidays—the holy-days—than daily thanking God—because how could we do anything less when we know a holy God?

@annvoskamp on Instagram (underlining added)

There was a rumor/accusation about a recent US President paying someone $102,000 per year to take care of his dog. From what I’ve found, it’s false, a case of misunderstanding and assumptions. But let’s imagine it was true. $102,000! That’s over $270 a day! The preacher who shared this information at our last revival meetings asked what lengths we would go to while taking care of that dog, how well we would treat it, etc. . . . And he asked what lengths we would go to for God, for the Gospel, because of all He has given, is giving, will give.

What lengths would I go to?

If I know God,
if I know the price He’s paid,
if I know what I will receive
(peace, relationship, Heaven, etc.) and won’t receive (punishment, eternal separation from God, etc.),
if I know others need to know too,
what will I do/give?

Will I, at perhaps the very least, thank/praise/worship Him?

Will I tell others–loudly, determinedly, unabashedly, regardless of who’s around or what they might think/say/do? Will I be like Bartimaeus, refusing to shut up even though others tried to stop him (Mark 10:47-48)?

Will I lift my hands to honor, celebrate, and bear witness to?

Louie Giglio once talked about lifting our hands. I recommend listening to the whole talk (the part about lifting hands starts after 28 minutes in the video I’ll be quoting/linking to). But I’m trying to keep this as short and on-track as possible. 🙂 {Note: it’s not short. But I could have said more!}

Lifting our hands is not a denominational thing.

Louie Giglio, “SYMPHONY I LIFT MY HANDS By Louie Giglio” YouTube video (all punctuation and capitilization added)

It doesn’t matter if you’re Pentecostal or Baptist or Mennonite or non-denominational or whatever. Lifting our hands isn’t a denominational thing or even necessarily a spiritual thing. It’s human; it’s built into us.

He gave several examples of times hands would raise in “jubilant celebration.”

When a sports game turns around and your team is now winning–
When excited children in Indonesia are going to their first day of school–
When it’s a hot-dog eating contest in Coney Island on July 4th–
When there’s a Coldplay show in a big stadium in Germany–
When young Justin Bieber had concerts–
When Druids at Stonehenge on the longest day of year were worshiping the sun–
When people in the little town of Soichi, Russia, heard that their town was awarded the 2014 Winter Olympic Games–
–the hands go up.

When something of worth or value is placed in front of the human heart, the human responds, the human delights, the human celebrates. … When something of value is placed in front of the human heart, people respond with everything they’ve got.

Louie Giglio, “SYMPHONY I LIFT MY HANDS By Louie Giglio” YouTube video (all punctuation, capitilization, underlining added)

Read that quote again.

When something of worth or value is in front of us, we respond and delight and celebrate.

Is God worth something to us? Do we value Him?

Do we know and believe and cherish who He is, what He says and does, what He has given us, etc.?

If a painted guy will pump his fist in the air and yell because people are chowing down hot-dogs, or if my small town will celebrate pickles, then why won’t we lift our hands and celebrate God?!

I know it’s awkward and scary and maybe nobody else is doing it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt the urge to raise my hand or at least hold it palm-up in front of me and I’ve resisted, hesitated, desisted. I’m not one to holler out “amen” or usually even murmur it. I get it. I’m right there with ya.

But it’s not about us or how we feel, is it now. And it’s not about what other people think of us. It’s about God, who He is, what He’s done–He deserves every bit of praise we can give plus more!
In the story, Poole faithfully shouted out praises, and eventually Martin began to do it too. What if our shouting out praises, our thankfulness, our continual worship, would influence others to do the same?
What if our exuberant, unashamed, faithful adoration is what it takes to encourage someone else to join in: because we shout out “Thank You!” someone else feels free to say “Hallelujah,” or because we stand to our feet, throw our heads back, and lift our hands, someone else plucks up the courage to close their eyes and hold out open hands?
What if our lives and the lives of those around us would change if we were thankful more often? If we openly, boldly praised God?

me, Shouting Out Praises

I’m not saying we have to lift our hands every time we worship. Worship can be expressed in a lot of different ways, and it doesn’t always have to be closing your eyes and raising your hands (like if you’re driving. I think the Lord will understand if you keep your eyes open and hands on the wheel 😄).

But if we feel the urge to lift our hands (or stand or say “amen/hallelujah/praise God/etc.” or whatever), what’s stopping us?

There could be a variety of answers to that, but I think they all boil down to pride.

We are too proud to worship God whole-heartedly, unashamedly, fully-focused on Him alone.

We are too proud, too self-sufficient, too independent, too hardened to really know, value, and thank God.

You know, Satan’s downfall was because of pride. He said (the way I understand it) that he would take the place of God and that he was better than God (Isaiah 14:12-14).

Do we let ourselves–our image/reputation, our fear, our comfort zone–take the place of God?

Do we think that we’re better than God? That He isn’t worthy of our all-out praise?

God. forbid.

God is worthy, holy, awesome, powerful, triumphant, forgiving, loving, humble, exalted, all-knowing, eternal, ever-present, mind-boggling, indescribable–!

And Satan doesn’t want us worshiping Him. Satan wants us to fall too. Satan understands that pride is a lie and a sin and a slap in the face to God. Maybe that’s why we struggle with pride so much, why it’s the root of so many sins.

Pride needs to die. We need to die. It’s not about us. It’s not about others. It’s about God!

When we really look at Him–when we really know Him–our only response is worship.

Maybe worship means lifting our hands.

Maybe worship means crying.

Maybe worship means speaking, whether that’s exclamations of praise or testimonies or whatever.

Maybe worship means confessing.

I could go on about worship, and maybe someday I will. But for now, I want to circle back to and end with Ann Voskamp’s words:

What could be a better way to begin the holidays—the holy-days—than daily thanking God—because how could we do anything less when we know a holy God?

@annvoskamp on Instagram (underlining added)


Hi, I'm Julie, a 18-year-old lover of books, music, and Jesus. I'm a senior in high school (Abeka Academy) and have been blogging for three years. I also co-publish a digital magazine called Priceless geared toward teen girls. My desire is to use my words to glorify my Saviour and to encourage you in your walk with God. I'd love to hear from you!

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1 year ago

Wow- so true!! One of my favorites, Jules!! May we live all for God- because it is about Him❤️❤️