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As we gather for worship in our various congregations, there needs to be gratitude and praise on our hearts and lips. The fact the God has granted us another opportunity for worship gives us reason to praise Him. It is amazing that there are those who gather in sanctuaries Sunday after Sunday who express deep and genuine thanksgiving to God. On the other hand, there are some who sometimes comment like, “It doesn’t take all that!” I believe that praise is essential for worship. Let me be clear, I do not mean that we lift up holy hands, clap our hands and express ourselves in other ways to gain attention. There is a spirit that moves, and we cannot help ourselves but to “act animated,” as some say. Notice I say “we”, for I am a worshipper who loves to praise the Lord. Today’s devotion speaks clearly about lifting up holy hands. Our scripture reference is I Timothy 2:8 and reads:

“In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.”

The author insists that in every place where we gather for worship, we should pray. Prayer is essential to worship. The Word of God instructs us to pray at all times. In every place, normally references the church. Yet, the author is not limiting this to the church, but anywhere we gather for worship: our homes, family settings. Bear in mind that at the time the author wrote these words, women were sometimes excluded in worship. We know that this is not the case today. The author says lift up holy hands willingly to God’s glory, without anger and quarreling. The most widely postures are standing and lifting hands with palms upward or kneeling before God. Honor God with your entire being. Lift up your hands, open up your heart and mouth and acknowledge God’s goodness.