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There was a really interesting study done among athletes.

They watched a bunch of footage of folks winning races, games, and matches.

And almost without fail, universally in every culture the automatic posture was the for the winner to put their hands over their head in "V" shape.

They found this was even true amongst blind folks.

There is something innate and intuitional about that posture.

There are similar universal postures as well - a hanging head (sad), hands on the head (disbelief), etc.

Something similar is happening here in 1 Timothy 2:8.


Paul is speaking to Timothy about watching his life, doctrine, and worship in the church.

He's beginning a section on worship in the church and how it ought to be conducted, and he says:

"Therefore, I want men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands..."

For Paul there was a physical posture that came along with prayer - the lifting up of holy hands.

Historically this was a pastoral/priestly posture.

It was the posture one used when they were reciting a blessing, benediction, or prayer over the people.

In other words, when Paul imagines the men gathering with their households in the church, he imagines them coming to execute their informal office of the priesthood of the beliver.

Coming before God on behalf of their:

  • Spouse
  • Kids
  • Family
  • Church
  • Nation

We are invited into the same kind of living.


The priesthood of the believer is a theme that pops up throughout scripture, but especially in Exodus and Peter, and it's the idea that there is a formal office of priest, a formal priesthood, but also an informal priesthood.

(You could imagine the formal office and class as a noun and the informal class as a verb.)

All of church history has imagined the men in the church being a kind of priest in their home and when they gather to worship with their households - gathering as a priesthood.

  • Praying
  • Interceding
  • Blessing

So I want to encourage you - and especially the men.

When you pray on your own in the morning - lift up holy hands on behalf of your spouse.

When you pray with your spouse - lift up holy hands on behalf of your kids.

When you pray with your family - lift up holy hands on behalf of your church, city, and nation.

Be the priesthood.