Is it right to lift up our hands while praying?

For faithful believers in the Old Testament and for the first Christians of the church, lifting up hands to the Lord was a normal part of worship. The act of lifting up hands while praying symbolized certainty that in His great mercy, God would answer their petitions. It was also a way to show that one was seeking God's mercy.

In Psalm 28:2, we find an example of hands lifted up in petition: "Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary." Another Scripture that expresses the same thought is Psalm 88:9: "My eye wastes away because of affliction. Lord, I have called daily upon You; I have stretched out my hands to You.”

Understanding that in some cultures this practice is not very common, we should respect others' opinions and expressions. We should not be tempted to say that this practice is only a concept of the Old Testament, without any value today. By the same token, leaders of the worship service should not encourage such behavior during worship.

The act of lifting up hands during prayer may be a personal or spontaneous initiative of the members at the moment of communing with or praising God. Thus, we should not see it as merely an emotional new phenomenon or initiative. This expression may actually be an attitude of solemn and deep devotion. Moreover, it is supported by biblical examples.

How should we resolve the conflicts created by music in the church?

Throughout modern church history, music has been a topic of discussion and controversy. At times, things get combative. Satan’s plan is to keep God’s people out of balance and out of focus. Throughout the years, music has been an area of his choosing to raise barriers between God’s people. Why? Because music is a powerful and efficient means of expression. And personal tastes in music vary so widely that this subject is extremely subjective.

Concerned about providing its members with some guidelines on this subject, the General Conference has prepared a document about the Seventh-day Adventist philosophy of music. Important themes are approached, such as: the musician, the music, the lyrics, congregational praise, musical instruments, musical production, music in evangelism, and other aspects of music. We advise every church board to read and study the article on pages 8 and 9, A Seventhday Adventist Philosophy of Music, prepared by the General Conference.

General Conference Ministerial Association