By Patrick Hawthorne
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between praise and worship? I have. I used to think that they were interchangeable, synonymous in meaning. After all, the denominational church I once attended treated them both the same. I am not bashing my old church but simply reporting a truth. Praise and worship to me and to them was the obligatory event that took place for a scheduled fifteen to twenty minutes prior to the structured and succinct thirty minute sermon. Oh how wrong we were.
Praise, in its most simple term, is thanksgiving. Through praise we show our thankfulness to our Heavenly Father for all of His goodness. An example of praise is found in Psalm 8:1. “O’ Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens.”
Praise will throw off the avenger and silence God’s enemies which have become our enemies (Psalms 8:2; Matthew 21:16). Praise will assure us of our victory before the battle has even been fought. Praise brings out an overwhelming sense of peace and joy. Praise is sometimes loud… very loud.
Worship, on the other hand, is about surrender. It is coming into tune with our Father. Often following praise, true worship is the bowing of our hearts before our King and our Lord. It is us coming into harmony with the Creator of the universe. It is saying, “Not my will, but Yours, my Lord.”
Worship – true worship – is not concerned about eloquence of the spoken word. It is about losing one self in the presence of Almighty God. In worship, time can seem to stand still, distractions fade, and crowded thoughts vanish. In worship, the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit will often guide, correct, and move us in a direction that is pleasing to the Father. Worship is walking heart to heart with our Lord Jesus.
Praise and Worship are equally important. To praise God, we simply need to open our mouths and declare HIS goodness. To worship God, we simply need to open our hearts and declare OUR surrender. I hope this helps. Be blessed.