Praise and Worship

Praise and Worship…is there a difference?

When  in a Sunday service we sing songs and make declarations of praise and of worship.  Is there a difference, or are they the same?  Let’s look at these two words in light of the Bible.

Praise is a response to what God has done.

Our grateful hearts respond to the things He has done for and to us.  When we pray, cry out for mercy, and make requests, then He answers us and fulfills our needs, we rejoice in praise because of what He did.

Psalm 9:1,2,7-12

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
    I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

But the Lord reigns forever,
    executing judgment from his throne.
He will judge the world with justice
    and rule the nations with fairness.
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
    a refuge in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

11 Sing praises to the Lord who reigns in Jerusalem.[a]
    Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds.
12 For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless.
    He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer.

Worship is a response for who He is.

We recognize His Worth-ship, His value and we openly worship Him.  If He never did another thing for us, He is still worthy of our worship.  His whole being is so wonderful and beautiful we can’t help but respond to Him.  That is worship, the acknowledgement of who He is, without any reference to ourselves.  He is still magnificent without anything personal involved, simply by existing.

Psalm 29:1,2

Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings;
    honor the Lord for his glory and strength.
Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.
    Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

Psalm 95:6,7

Come, let us worship and bow down.
    Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
    for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
    the flock under his care.

Both Praise and Worship honor God

We have heard the phrases “worship the ground he walks on”, or “you did such a good job”.  Those simple phrases reflect the difference in worship or praise.  Worship is usually perceived as standing at a distance and having a heart so full of response to the person we have a hard time responding  personally.  Praise on the other hand, is close-up and very personal.  We are responding to an event the other person did for us individually.  Praise reflects the personal relationship we have with the Lord.  It is part of a conversation in a very personal relationship.

Once we get the difference, we can enjoy both.  We can stand in awe of the greatness of God, choosing to honor Him with our worship of who He is.  And we can also get personal and close with thanksgiving with our praise for all He as done for us individually.  Both are true responses of hearts who have been touched by our Father God.


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