When I was still a baby Christian, I never really understood the importance of praise and worship. I assumed praise in Church was to get us moving our body in preparation for the preaching. If you ask Christians the difference between praise and worship, most will tell you that praise is fast paced and involves mainly dancing while worship is slow paced and involves mainly singing. To understand the phenomenon of praise and worship, we need to be able to differentiate praise from worship.
Difference between Praise and Worship:
Praise can be defined as an expression of respect and admiration for God. Praise is the joyful recounting of all God has done for us in anticipation for more. 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, spouse in appreciation of something they have done. 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 (Psalm 18:3).
Worship, however, comes from a different place within our spirits. Worship should be reserved for God alone (Luke 4:8). Worship is the art of losing self in the adoration of another. Praise can be a part of worship, but worship goes beyond praise. Worship gets to the heart of who we are. To truly worship God, we must let go of our self-worth. 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.
In Scripture, praise is usually presented as boisterous, joyful, and uninhibited. Praise involves dancing, shouting and even jumping. When the Bible mentions worship, however, the tone changes. We read verses like, “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 96:9). And, “Come let us worship and bow down” (Psalm 95:6). Often, worship is coupled with the act of bowing or kneeling, which shows humility and contrition (2 Chronicles 29:28; Hebrews 11:21; Revelation 19:10). It is through true worship that we invite the Holy Spirit to speak to us, convict us, and comfort us. Through worship, we realign our priorities with God’s and acknowledge Him once more as the rightful Lord of our lives. Just as praise is intertwined with thanksgiving, worship is intertwined with surrender.
We praise God for what He has done, we praise God for what He is doing, we praise God for what He will still do but when we worship God we must not worship for what He has done or what we want Him to do, we worship Him for who He is. Worship Him because He is the Alpha and Omega, worship Him because He is the creator of the Universe, Worship Him because He is “I am That I am” that changes not, worship Him because He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Importance of Praise and Worship:
1. For Who He Is: We worship Him for who He is not necessarily for what He has done.
2 Samuel 22:50 Therefore I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises to your name.
1 Chronicles 29:13 Now therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name.
Daniel 4:34 I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that lives for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation.
Revelation 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.
Revelation 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be to our God for ever and ever. Amen.
Psalms 35:18 I will give you thanks in the great congregation: I will praise you among much people.
Hebrews 13:15 By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
2. We have life: Scientists have been able to make “sleeping pills” that help people sleep but they can never make “waking up pills” to help us wake up. We sleep and wake up in enough to praise God.
Psalms 150:6 “Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord”.
Psalms 92:1 IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD, AND TO SING PRAISES UNTO THY NAME, O MOST HIGH.
Psalms 138:1 I will praise you with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise to you.
Psalms 35:28 And my tongue shall speak of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.
3. In Appreciation: We might not be where we want to be yet but we should also praise God for where we are in appreciation of the wondrous things He has done in our lives.
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
Isaiah 25:1 “I will praise your name..you hve done wonderful things”(paraphrased)
4. In Anticipation: God has wonderful things in mind for His children (you and me). Therefore in anticipation for the manifestation of these amazing things, we should give Him all the praise and worship He deserves.
Exodus 23:24 “Worship the Lord your God ans his blessings will be upon your food and your water”
5. For His Intervention: Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object remains in a state of rest until an external force is applied. If your heart desires, your dreams, your wants and needs are in a state of rest, apply the force of praise to provoke God’s intervention. When you have been in a place for too long and you desire a change in your life, you have prayed and fasted and nothing has happened then it’s time to switch to praise. When you offer praise, you invite God to intervene on your behalf.
Praise and worship is the only thing that God cannot give Himself.
When you pray God sends angels to act on your behalf but when you praise God comes down Himself. Praise is more powerful than prayer because you gain an instant direct link to God. Remember, praise God in appreciation and in anticipation of something but worship Him in total admiration and acknowledgment of who He is.
What is the difference between praise and worship by Michael Houdmann
Bible verses on praise by Godvine.com