WHICH WOULD JESUS PREFER: Hand Claps or Lifted Hands?

I was in the Spirit on the morning of July 16, and I saw Jesus. I saw him just as plainly as I could see you if you stood before me…………..Jesus said something that astounded me……’Clapping is neither praise nor worship.”….”To clap is to applaud.”

-Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin


Hi. In this post, I’d be sharing with you an excerpt from Rev Kenneth E. Hagin’s book, ; ‘Plans, Purposes and Pursuits’. This excerpt will cover selected portions of a chapter in this book where the place of clapping within our church services was discussed. This excerpt will however not contain every word in the pages I will be quoting from, but will cover only those sentences that convey the main message being communicated by the author. I have also endeavored to write the sentences in the same order that they were written in the original text, placing the ellipses (i.e…..) where ever appropriate in order to indicate to the reader that words are missing at that point.

Enough of my explanations right? Let’s continue with the excerpt.


Jesus said clapping is applause. He said it is neither praise nor worship. Well if it isn’t praise and it isn’t worship where does it fit in at all in our services?

I got a little illustration…that helped my understanding of clapping and I want to share it with you. When a little boy receives a birthday present from his daddy, he may clap his hands and jump up and down. But he is not praising or worshiping his daddy – he is expressing his own excitement and rejoicing over what he has just received, in other words, his clapping is only for his own benefit. It’s an outworking of his own emotions. In our services, we may clap sometimes just because we’re excited or we’re rejoicing, but that’s not praising or worshiping God.

In the visitation, Jesus discussed clapping with me from the Scriptures. He said, “There is not one scripture in the new testament about clapping. The Bible says in Psalm 47:1: ‘O clap your hands, all ye people, shout unto God with a voice of triumph.’ Clapping in this verse denoted an attitude of victory; it was not a form of praise. That is the only time clapping before the Lord is mentioned, and that is in the old testament. …………..

“There is not one single scripture,” Jesus said to me, “in the New Covenant about anyone clapping their hands.”

We do, however, have New Testament scripture for lifting our hands in worship to the Lord. In fact, the only instruction we have in the New Testament about what to do with our hands, is to lift them up!…”I will therefore that men pray every where lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” (1 Tim. 2:8).


You see the world claps or applauds, but you do not see them lifting their hands to praise or celebrate. No, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is to lift up holy hands to praise the Lord!

“The world claps.” Jesus said to me. “Saints praise.”

Then he illustrated it something like this: You can walk by dark dives (night clubs, beer joints, etc.) and look inside at what is going on. Those inside may be watching a show with nude dancers, and you will see them clapping their hands. They may be watching a sports event on a screen, and you will see them clapping their hands. Or you can go to a political rally, and when the politician says something everyone likes, they will clap their hands. But in none of these places do you see the crowd lift their hands.

Now that doesn’t mean clapping is wrong in itself. But we do need to distinguish between clapping which is a natural expression of this world, and the raising of our hands which is a scriptural expression of the realm to which we believers belong. We also need to identify when to clap and when to lift our hands in praise. Clapping at the wrong time can cause the anointing to lift from a service…..

As a minister, I’ve been in the position of being the one used by God to speak forth in prophesy or interpretation of tongues – when right in the middle of the prophesy, everyone will start clapping. Unless I am very careful, I can lose the anointing because the clapping distracts me, making it difficult to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying.…..even if the anointing does not lift and I continue to speak, no one can hear what is being said. If it’s not for the people to hear, why would the Holy Spirit move upon me to speak?


Even during our worship, clapping is often done at inappropriate times. It causes the anointing to lift and destroys the sweet closeness of His presence that we all sense.

You can see how this could happen in a natural relationship such as the relationship between a man and a woman. What if the man and woman were sitting together talking for some time, exchanging words of endearment, and suddenly one of them began to clap? Wouldn’t that seem inappropriate? Friends, when we are praising the Lord, He is present!

For a long time in Charismatic circles, we’ve had the habit of clapping after every song we sing during a time of praise and worship. Possibly this has occurred because people have felt a need to respond in some way but haven’t known exactly how to respond. However, clapping after every song disrupts the flow of worship. It takes our attention off the Lord. How much better it would be to lift our hands in worship and speak forth our thanksgiving and adoration to Him who first loved us.

         When To Clap and When To Praise


If the congregation is singing an up tempo song, it’s alright for folks to clap their hands in time with the music. But when the song ends and the worship leader asks people to praise the Lord, they should lift up their hands to praise Him as the New Testament teaches.

Also, in church, we shouldn’t be applauding singers when they minister in special music. Their talent is God given and is to be used for the glory and praise of God. They’re not putting o a performance (or at least they shouldn’t be); they’re ministering in music to encourage the congregation to get their eyes on God and to lift them up in His presence. If we appreciate their music, we should lift up our hands and worship God. Applauding singers is not praising God, and we are to praise God…..

There are times when we applaud a speaker to let him know that we’re glad he’s come. It is a gesture of welcome after he has been introduced, and it’s strictly on a natural level. That’s all right as long as it’s not overdone. We’re not worshiping or praising the speaker.



Thanks for reading. Having read so far, which do you think Jesus prefers: hand claps or lifted hands?

I’m definitely looking forward to your

comments & suggestions below 🙂

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  • Hardethaewoh

    I grew up in an orthodox church where clapping is forbidden except when singing choruses… when i joined a pentecostal fellowship, I appreciated the new clapping freedom I got …
    But when I saw the way people clap at anytime & for anything…like they abused the ‘freedom’… I kinda agreed with the ‘Old Doctrine’ that forbids clapping.

    I didn’t know Christ’s stand on the matter till now but now I know lifted hands is His desire…I’m so glad you shared this… Thanks Hagins! Thank you Ngozikaa!

  • iamjemila

    Wow! I was in a church recently, where they don’t clap neither do they dance and the reason they gave was that, they didn’t want to distract one another while in the service. I felt it was awkward coming from a place where I believe in dancing like david, but this has helped to give better understanding to the clapping part. Thanks for sharing

  • pstjoehrr

    True… Clapping or dancing, has no major role in the whole praise thing.
    I attend a church where clapping and dancing is more or less compulsory. You hear things like “Dance your Dancest”, “If you praise God recklessly, he will bless you recklessly”, and so on and so forth. Well, from the scriptures, Lifting of hands is the main thing, that we could do as physical expressions of our praise to God.

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