What Does the Bible Say About..? Logo

What Does the Bible Say About..Raising Hands While Praying?

Should a woman raise holy hands while praying like the men are ask to do? Or where it says "in like manner the women..." mean that they should be quiet instead of raising their hands?


“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” (1 Timothy 2:8-10)

There is nothing in this passage that would either require or forbid men or women in regard to raising hands while praying. If it were to require it of men, then it would also be required of women, “in like manner.”

That phrase, “in like manner also,” shows that he is not talking about the physical lifting of hands, but about the attitude one has when he prays. He is comparing the good works of women to praying without wrath and doubting. He is, therefore, talking about attitudes, not physical postures. Otherwise he would have specified a posture for women, or said “in like manner the women should raise their hands.”

If anyone insists on praying with raised hands, then they should do it in the Jewish manner with which Paul would have been familiar. This would be with the palms up and probably no higher than eye level. Instead I see people singing and praying with their hands above their heads, palm forward, and sometimes swaying from side to side. One could almost mistake them for a crowd doing a wave at a football game. If one is to raise holy hands it should be as if they are offering themselves to God, not as if they are grasses blown by the wind.