What is the difference between praising and worshiping God?



Question:  “What is the difference between praising and worshiping God and how do I praise and worship God?”



Answer

Praise  

When we praise God, we are expressing our admiration for God, we are lifting Him up in exaltation.  We are telling God and others how wonderful He is, expressing our praise for all of His wonderful characteristics.  Praise is the exuberant thanksgiving of all that God has done for us, for He is worthy of praise (Psalm 18:3).


Praise is normally enthusiastic and joyful. God invites praise from His creation. Jesus said that if people don't praise God, even the stones will cry out (Luke 19:40).

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High (Psalm 9:1-2).


Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name (Hebrews 13:15). Rather than giving sacrifices of things, we are to offer sacrifice of praise.


These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:7). Our faith and love naturally leads to our praise of God, and our praise demonstrates to other that God is good.


Praise usually precedes worship. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise (Psalm 100:4).


Worship

When we worship God, we are expressing our love, devotion and faith to God.  While praise may be a part of worship, worship goes way beyond praise. Worship is the act of humbly submitting ourselves and our life to God’s control.  While praise honors God for what He has done, worship honors God for who He is.  Jesus said, the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks (John 4:23). Through worship we invite the Holy Spirit to speak to us, convict us, and lead us. It is through worship that we acknowledge God as the rightful Lord of our lives.


Worship is more somber, more humble. 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 contriteness.


Jesus said, It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only (Luke 4:8).


But some are not truthful with themselves

The Lord says: These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught (Isaiah 29:13).

 

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen (Romans 1:25). Satan deceives many into worshiping the things God created rather than the Creator.


We follow what we worship and there is nothing on earth more important than a solid relationship with God.

Romans 12:1 tells us, Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’ mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.


Steps to worship

1. Enter His presence with praise and thanksgiving.


2. Quiet your mind.  we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Taking thoughts captive is the key to quieting our mind. If you get distracted, then recapture the thought and return to quietness. But I have calmed and quieted myself (Psalm 131:2).


3. Take time for God to speak.

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few (Ecclesiastes 5:1-2).


It is a precious moment when we quiet our mind, give God time to speak, and He speaks to us.  The more time we spend with the Lord, the closer our relationship with Him grows. In time, praise and worship become a way of life as we more closely walk with the Lord.


true worshipers … the Father is seeking such people to worship him (John 4:23). Clearly God the Father is seeking true worshipers to spend time with.


In discussing the difference between praise and worship, we should not assume they are separate, but rather praise is part of and supportive of worship. When we praise God for what He has done, it leads to worshiping Him for who He is.



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