Holy Hands

Monday, Mar. 23

“I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.” 1 Tim. 2:8. The words “holy hands” caught my attention. This is a rather rare expression, but it has significant meaning. How many times have you heard “bless the hands that have prepared this food?” Paul’s statement is like that. For a person to have holy hands, the entire person would have to be holy. And “holy” is a very significant word. It can mean either “sinless perfection” or “set aside for service.” Both would be apropos in this statement. Sin separates us from God. While God has declared us righteous and we are eternally saved, we can allow sin to break fellowship with God. That’s why we are told to confess our sins (1 John 1:9). If I am in a state of anger or disputing, and have not dealt with it, I do not have “holy hands” and my prayer is worthless. So Paul used a rare expression to get our attention and to encourage meaningful prayer. If I want my prayers to be heard and answered, I need to meet the conditions, one of which is to have a clean slate when I approach God. The context of this verse is pertinent. Paul is encouraging all Christians to pray for all men, even kings and all others in authority (vv. 1-2). The goal is to please God who “wants all men to be saved.” (v. 4) Our prayer lives are critical in evangelism. We need to pray for the right things and in the right way. If I sense that my prayer is not being answered, it would be well to remember this verse.

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