There are many jewels of truth to discover when the Hebrew words for praise, thanksgiving, blessing, and so on are understood in scriptural context. Reading the English version of the bible doesn’t convey the depth of what God intended. For example, the Hebrew word YADAH is sometimes translated as thank or praise in the English translation, and it means to lift the hands in praise. The act of lifting hands when worshiping is common but there is little understanding of the Biblical meaning of it. YADAH conveys a strong emphasis on gratitude and thankfulness. It means: ‘to use (i.e. hold out) the hand, physically to throw (a stone, an arrow) at or away, especially to revere or worship (with extended hands), to confess, praise, be thankful. YADAH is an expression of thankful praise with the hands lifted. In general terms, YADAH is simply being grateful for everything God means to us and does for us, but there are a few particular instances in scripture that use this word that all worshipers should understand.


Scripture tells us to praise (YADAH) God because we have been fearfully and wonderfully made.

“I will praise (YADAH) you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. (Psalm 139:14)

It’s the kind of praise we give to God for the miracle of creating us. It’s expressed with the lifting of hands, thanking God that it was His will to create and bring us into this world, in His perfect timing to fulfill His plans and purposes. Every Christian should express thankfulness to God with lifted hands for the privilege of living and knowing God as His child. It’s really a privilege to be alive. We need to get this revelation and respond accordingly with praise (YADAH). Next time you lift your hands in praise, thank Him for the fact that you were created.


Oh, give thanks (YADAH) to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy. (Psalm 107:1-2)

Lifting hands is an expression of praise to God for redeeming us. Anyone can lift hands in praise but those who appreciate what redemption means have the privilege of doing it with the knowledge that it is God’s prescribed method of telling Him we appreciate our salvation. We don’t always have to be conscious of redemption when we lift up our hands in praise, but it would be good to remember that He has prescribed it with redemption in mind. When the enemy sees you with your hands raised in praise it reminds him that his hand no longer holds us captive. It’s a tremendous expression and display of freedom.


There will be many things for us to do in eternity, but praise will be high on the list of activities. The awesome environment of God’s presence will naturally cause us to praise, but so will the revelation of God’s grace in saving us. It will take an eternity to thank God for our deliverance and safekeeping.

I will praise (YADAH) You forever, Because You have done it; And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good. (Psalm 52:9)


The giving of thanks in Psalm 18:49 is the word YADAH and is a wonderful example of using the physical expression of lifted hands among unbelievers.

Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name. (Psalm 18:49)

This is done in the context of deliverance. We truly have been delivered and we should not be ashamed to lift our hands to express our gratitude. The world needs to see the church unashamedly lift their hands to God in praise.

About Tom Inglis

Tom is recognised by many as an apostle of worship who carries a prophetic word that is fresh and relevant for the church today. He has travelled into many nations teaching the message of ‘worship as a lifestyle’ and is considered by many as a pioneer in this area. [Read More...]