Difference between Praise and Worship

Understanding the difference between praise and worship can bring a new depth to the way we honor the Lord. Throughout the Bible, the commands to “praise the Lord” are too numerous to mention. Angels and the heavenly hosts are commanded to praise the Lord (Psalm 89:5; 103:20; 148:2). All inhabitants of the earth are instructed to praise the Lord (Psalm 138:4; Romans 15:11). We can praise Him with singing (Isaiah 12:5; Psalm 9:11), with shouting (Psalm 33:1; 98:4), with the dance (Psalm 150:4), and with musical instruments (1 Chronicles 13:8; Psalm 108:2; 150:3-5).

We PRAISE the works of God   Psalm 100:1-3(HCSB) Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth.Serve the Lord with gladness;

come before Him with joyful songs. Acknowledge that Yahweh is God. He made us, and we are His—His people, the sheep of His pasture.,

All of 103(The Forgiving God) & 104 (The Creator God) Psalm 111(For all His good Works)
Isaiah 6:1-3(HCSB) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe[a] filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts;

His glory fills the whole earth.

We WORSHIP the person of God
Psalm 29:2(HCSB) Ascribe to Yahweh the glory due His name; worship Yahweh in the splendor of His holiness.
Psalm 95:1-3(HCSB) Come, let us shout joyfully to the Lord, shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation! Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving;

let us shout triumphantly to Him in song. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods.
Psalm 95:6-7(HCSB) Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the sheep under His care.
Revelation 4:4-11(HCSB) Around that throne were 24 thrones, and on the thrones sat 24 elders dressed in white clothes, with gold crowns on their heads. Flashes of lightning and rumblings of thunder came from the throne. Seven fiery torches were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. Something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal, was also before the throne. Four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back were in the middle and around the throne. The first living creature was like a lion; the second living creature was like a calf; the third living creature had a face like a man; and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying:

Holy, holy, holy,

Lord God, the Almighty,

who was, who is, and who is coming.

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the One seated on the throne, the One who lives forever and ever, 10 the 24 elders fall down before the One seated on the throne, worship the One who lives forever and ever, cast their crowns before the throne, and say:11 

Our Lord and God,

You are worthy to receive

glory and honor and power,

because You have created all things,

and because of Your will

they exist and were created.

Praise is the joyful recounting of all God has done for us. It is closely intertwined with thanksgiving as we offer back to God appreciation for His mighty works on our behalf. Praise is universal and can be applied to other relationships as well. We can praise our family, friends, boss, or waiter/waitress. Praise does not require anything of us. It is merely the truthful acknowledgment of the righteous acts of another. Since God has done many wonderful deeds, He is worthy of praise
Psalms 18:3(NLT) I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.

“Praise” Occurs in Scripture 304 times

  1. Forty-four (44) examples of Ways to praise; Who praises What.
  2. Thirty-two (32) examples of Why we praise.

The practice of praise in the Old Testament:

  1. What is to be praised? Psalm 149
  2. Where are we to praise? Psalm 148
  3. Who is to praise? Psalm 148
  4. How are we to praise? Psalm 150

There is a consequence for no praise and worship it is called a “Barren” Church

2 Samuel 6:16 (NLT)But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she was filled with contempt for him.


2 Samuel 6:20-23 (NLT)When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!”

21 David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. 22 Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! But those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!” 23 So Michal, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life.

Comparison of the terms “Praise” and “Worship”:

PRAISE                                             WORSHIP

Spirit wing upward                   Spirit bow downward

Lift hands                                         Kiss the hand

Rejoice                                               Reverence

Adore                                                      Awe

Celebrate [foolishly]                   Prostrate, bow, stoop

Boast                                                     Homage

Thanksgiving                                       Devotion
Music in the Spirit                       Voices in the Spirit

Worship appears 200 times in Scripture
Worship, however, comes from a different place within our spirits. Worship should be reserved for God alone (Luke 4:8(NLT) Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him). Worship is the art of losing self in the adoration of another. Praise can be a part of worship, but worship goes beyond praise. Praise is easy; worship is not. Worship gets to the heart of who we are. To truly worship God, we must let go of our self-worship. We must be willing to humble ourselves before God, surrender every part of our lives to His control, and adore Him for who He is, not just what He has done. Worship is a lifestyle, not just an occasional activity.

The Bible makes it clear that it is not a lack of love for oneself that causes problems in society; it is the obsession with self. In fact, this love of self will be one of the earmarks of the last days, leading to a host of other problems 2 Timothy 3:1–5(HCSB) But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!

  • Scripture acknowledges the fact that we already love ourselves. Ephesians 5:29
  • says, “After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it” No,

Jesus did not say that we need to love ourselves (we already do that).
HE also didn’t say “This is your best life now, live YOUR dreams, Unleash YOUR full potential, Buy material things and make yourself happy.
Follow me, whenever you get done with more pressing matters.
Anyone who would be my disciple must love your family first, because that’s what really counts, and please fit your commitments to me around your prior family obligations.

He told us to deny ourselves. Matthew 16:24 (HCSB) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.

To better understand the significance of this, we must first understand what that means.

  • What is the positive outcome of denying yourself? Jesus goes on to say,
  • whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake
  • will save it” (Luke 9:24). The word for “life” in the original Greek was psuche,
  • meaning “soul life”—literally your will, ambition, goals and desires. When you give
  • that up to allow yourself to be conformed into the image of Jesus, you will discover
  • His plan and purpose for you.

Bearing your cross means dying to oneself.
Why did Jesus use this particular illustration? He used a radical symbol to get people’s attention. He was not simply speaking of an individual’s personal problem or obstacle. In that day and age, a person who was bearing a cross was walking to his death. Bearing your cross means dying to self—laying aside your personal goals, desires and ambitions so that God can reveal His desires, ambitions and goals for your life. In essence, it is living life as it was meant to be lived: in the will of God. Moving out of self worship. Which is the biggest idol today.

Worship can be public praise to God in a congregational setting, where we can proclaim through prayer and praise our adoration and thankfulness to Him and what He has done for us. True worship is felt inwardly, and then comes out through our actions. “Going through the motions” out of obligation is displeasing to God and is done completely in vain. He can see through all the hypocrisy, and He hates it.

He demonstrates this in Amos 5:21-24 (NLT)“I hate all your show and pretense—
the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.

Another example is the story of Cain and Abel, the first sons of Adam and Eve. They both brought gift offerings to the Lord, but He was only pleased with Abel’s. Cain brought the gift out of obligation; Abel brought his finest lambs from his flock. He brought out of faith and admiration for God.

Abel was the worshipper and Cain was the religious brother, religion will kill worship. Religion worships out of obligation, true worship is done out of adoration. True worship is not confined to what we do in church or open praise (although these things are both good and we are told in the Bible to do them). It is the acknowledgment of God and all His power and glory in everything we do. The highest form of praise and worship is obedience to Him and His Word.

To do this, we must know God; we cannot be ignorant of Him. Worship is to glorify and exalt God—to show our loyalty and admiration to our Father.

The Bible says, that Father God seeks for only TWO things:

(1)One: To save souls, Luke 19:10 (HCSB) For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.

(2)Two: For those saved souls to worship Him.

Worship and preaching go hand on hand with one another. We worship God for who He is. We listen to the preaching to get a better understanding of who He is so we can worship Him more intimately.
Matthew 7:21-23(NLT)“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Luke 1:34 (NLT)And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man

That word know, “ginosko” in the Greek, refers in this context to an intimate relationship of union and approval. That is the kind of relationship a believer needs to have with Christ.

 1 Corinthians 8:3 Paul said, “But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.”. Jesus will not say those words of condemnation in Matthew 7:21-23 to someone who truly loves Him and seeks intimacy with Him.

To begin with, worship is only determined by God Himself, and not everything we do is acceptable to God as worship just because we are sincere or it makes us feel good. 

Hebrews 12:28 (ESV)tells us that we must “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” .The Greek word translated “serve” here is a form of the word “worship” and is used 21 times in the New Testament in the contexts of service and worship. Another form of the word “worship” is the Greek word therapeuo—from which we get the English word “therapy”—and this is most often seen translated “heal” in reference to the healing of others. In the New Testament, this word is seen in every case of Jesus’ healings.

When God is truly worshipped He will show up, when he shows up, darkness has to flee, any ailments has to flee, demons flee, people are saved, people enter into a deeper love and intimacy for Him, people are healed and bondages are broken. The majority of healings and salvations happen during a worship service.

True biblical worship is to be first and foremost reverent. This means it is to be done with the understanding of who it is being worshiped. God is holy, just, righteous, perfect, powerful, loving, wrathful etc.

Those who wish to worship biblically must worship God as He is revealed in Scripture. Second, we must worship in truth John 4:23-24 (NLT) But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.. This means that it needs to line up according to the truths in Scripture. Adding our own version of worship and “expressing ourselves” is not true worship if it does not accord with the Word of God. Personal expressions of worship are not indicated anywhere in Scripture and can lead to activities that are not God-honoring.

True worship is worship in Spirit. Because God is Spirit, true worship is a pure, holy, spiritual worship, the offering of the soul and the homage of the heart rather than merely that of the lips. Finally, true worship will always produce a change in the heart of the worshipper, causing a greater desire to love and obey the God we worship. To worship “in spirit” is to walk in obedience to the promptings of these seven spirits who dwell within the born again believer. To worship “in truth” is the other side of our balanced walk with the Lord. Walking “in truth” involves walking according to God’s order and instruction, which is shown to us in His WORD. So you have a constant balance of walking in the Spirit and walking according to His truth found in His word. You cannot have one without the other. If you have all spirit and no word then you will “puff up” in pride. If you have all word and no spirit then you will “dry up” with dead religion.

If worship does not propel us into greater obedience, it isn’t worship. Unless we come out of it with a greater commitment to obedience, it isn’t worship. Jesus said those who love Him will keep His commandments. If we say we love and worship Him, but do not obey Him, our worship is worthless.
True biblical worship of the one true and living God is to be a lifestyle, not a moment in time. Just as they will be in eternity, our lives now are to be lives of total worship of God. When we eat, sleep, work, serve, and live from sunup to sundown, all that we do is to be in a spirit of worship of God. We are not to offer temporary, experience-oriented worship on Sunday, and then lead a secular life the rest of the week. True worship is offered to God from the depths of our inner being in praise and prayer, in song, in giving, and in living, but always based upon His revealed truth.

Worship is a lifestyle, and our manual to this lifestyle is the Bible. God wants an intimate relationship with us. Worship is everything we do, Love people,love our spouse,take care of our family, shine Christ’s light unto the world, help people, etc. It is not just the musical portion of our weekly gatherings. It is supposed to be encapsulated into our whole life. We must lead a life of Worship. Worship is what we will be doing in heaven for eternity. The angels cry Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God almighty. WE will be doing the same.

(excerpt from gotquestions.org)


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