hug from God (the orans posture)

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If there’s one thing evangelicals are notorious for… it just might be lifting up their arms during a worship song.

When the worship band up on stage hits a groove, and your soul is pointed like an arrow up to God, some Christians can’t help but stretch up their arms like they’re welcoming the very presence of God himself into their heart. At least, that’s what sometimes goes through my head when I uplift my hands in what some people call a “hug from God.”

The “hug from God” posture is especially popular among evangelicals. Maybe it’s the whole “being so public” about their adoration of God. Raising your hands like this is like saying “Who loves God? Me! Me! Me!”

Lifting the arms up during Christian prayer or worship isn’t new either. We have wall paintings from the catacombs that show early believers in this position. Church historians and archaeologists call this posture the “orans posture.” Orans comes from the Latin word for “pray.”


hug from God n. Evangelical A posture used by some Christians during worship or prayer in which the arms are stretched up into the air and the head is lifted up.
A formal, technical name for this position is the “orans posture.” Lifting up hands during prayer and worship is mentioned in 2 Timothy 2:8 and in Tertullian’s De Oratione (¶ 17).
2006 Beaujon Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock 152 : He sang, almost as a meditation…. Folks in the audience started lifting their hands in the air. This gesture is probably the characteristic of evangelical services that looks the most unusual to outsiders. Some call it a “hug from God.”
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