Lifting up holy hands by Dr. Shawn Smith.

1 Timothy 2:8
“Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.”

In the Greek the word for men in this verse is: aner {an’-ayr} signifying

1) with reference to sex
1a) of a male
1b) of a husband
1c) of a betrothed or future husband

2) with reference to age, and to distinguish an adult man from a boy

3) any male

Men (adult males) have the responsibility to lead in public prayer. They are to do this “lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.” It was a common practice among the Jews to lift their hands in prayer, which was an emblem of an elevated heart to God. All prayer MUST be an elevation of one’s heart to God. The position of the hands cannot “elevate” the heart, but it may be helpful to the one praying in concentrating on the position of the heart.

These hands must be “holy” (free from any governing sin that would render prayer unacceptable to God). The further explanation “without wrath and dissension” is likely a reference to one’s relationship to his fellow man as in the following verses:

Matt 5:23-24
“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”

1 Pet 3:7
“You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”

The emphasis in this verse is on the position of the heart in relationship to God, and not necessarily the position of the hands.