So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name, I will lift up my hands. (Ps 63:4, ESV)
Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words. – Deborah Bull
Our bodies in worship often say more with our actions than our mouths say with words. The act of prostrating the body in prayer was a common form of worship not only in early Christianity but in Judaism and Islam. Raising the arms, outstretched with open hands also has significance in worship. It can be:
- A cry for help. The man or woman that is drowning will often raise their arms, desperate for help.
- It can be an expression of excitement and joy.
- It can also be an expression of sadness and grief. When a parent loses a child in the act of violence, they lift their hands to God, asking ‘why!’
- Raised hands is also a sign of surrender.
- Finally, it’s an act of trust as we jump into the open arms of a parent, or run to the open arms of someone we love. Knowing that those arms will always catch you or respond with love, requires trust.
David knew that he could always trust God, and so he lifted his has in praise.