“Moses said to him, ‘As soon as I go out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease and there will be hail no longer, that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s.’” ~ Exodus 9:29.
Here we see that the Father works through our prayers to reveal Himself to those for whom we intercede. God’s answer comes so that we may know Him for Who He is. Moses lifted his hands to the Lord with full faith that the request made would receive a sure response.
Faith in prayer is vital. Though I have seen God respond to the prayer of the unbelieving: I believe God hears prayer, even when lacking faith, for He desires to reveal himself to us that we may believe and in His mercy, He responds to build our faith. However, hands lifted up without true and sincere belief that God is God, that He hears our prayers, and that He will surely respond, comes from weak hands and dulled hearts.
I have learned that I may look at a situation and know that, apart from God, it is an impossible thing. But I cannot look at God, with knowledge of Him, and fail to realize that “nothing shall impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Lifting hands up with all I am focused on all God is increases faith to me that makes me to know the impossible is truly Himpossible.
Another reason for lifting hands in prayer is revealed through Ezra:
“But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the Lord my God” Ezra 9:5.
We are weakened and laid low when sin has full reign in our lives, so times of repentance are vital to our hands being strengthened and made effective for God’s use. Sin not only weakens us as individuals, but it also weakens nations. Here in this passage, Ezra is grieving the sin of the nation when he gets up from his humiliation and stretches his hands out on their behalf. When true repentance has hands lifted to Him, God is faithful to grant mercy and restore strength. Thus we cry with David:
“Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help, When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary” ~ Psalm 28:2.