What is Praise and What is Worship?

What is Praise and What is Worship?

Serving God with Praise and Worship might be familiar to those who attend church regularly. Praising God at church is customary as is praising Him in our daily lives. But, what is praise, and what is worship?

Many churches have a song service or worship service every time they meet. Most now use musical instruments of some kind as the congregation engages in praise and worship. But, what is the difference between praise and worship? And how do you praise and worship God in the way He desires?

In this new category of blogs for Inspiration for Life Today, we’re going to be delving into praise and worship. We’ll be doing historical studies, word studies, and examining the origins of praise and worship to God by His people from the beginning until today. We’ll start here by looking at what is praise and what is worship.

What is Praise?

Praise in the Bible usually refers to songs that are fairly upbeat, faster and that talk about what God has done for you or for all of us. We’re thanking Him for what He did, is doing, and will do as well as for keeping His promises to us.

The word ‘praise’ means to – express warm approval or admiration of… If we praise a family member or friend, we are usually relating to something they’ve done or are. It’s the same thing we do as we express our praise to God.

Sometimes we simply see fast songs as being “praise” songs and slow ones as being “worship” songs. That can be true but it can also be true that there are slow praise songs and fast worship songs!

Praise in the Old Testament was an active, action-filled demonstration before God. It involved shouting, twirling, dancing, singing, raising your hands, playing instruments, glory, triumph, and more. It shared some of these attributes with worship.

Some Hebrew words for praise include:

  • Stong’s 1984 – Halal – to shine, to boast, rave, celebrate, glory, to shout.
  • #3034 Yadah – to throw your hands, give thanks, laud, praise, to revere or worship with extended hands.
  • Zamar relates to touch the strings of an instrument as part of praise, Todah is a sacrifice of praise, and there are more.

The New Testament also has Greek words for praise:

  • The word ‘agalliao’ means to rejoice, jump and leap for joy. It is used in Luke 1:44 and 10:21.
  • Proskuneo means, “to prostate oneself in worship; to reverence, to adore; to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand.” You cand find it used in Luke 4:8, John 4:24 and Revelations 15:4.
  • Thriambeuo means “to make an acclamatory procession, to conquer, to celebrate a victory, to Triumph and is used in Colossians 2:15.

Bible Verses About Praise

The Eternal is my strength and my song, and He has come to save me; He is my God, and I will praise Him. He is the God of my father, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2 The Voice
He’s the One you must praise—He’s your God who has done such great and amazing things for you, as you’ve seen with your own eyes. Deuteronomy 10:21 The Voice
For the Eternal is great indeed and praiseworthy, feared and reverenced above all gods. 1 Chronicles 16:25
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever. Psalm 30:11-12 NIV

These verses give you the basic idea of praise. They recall things like – God is my strength, He came to save me, He has done great and amazing things for me, he turned my mourning into dancing, took off my sackcloth, and clothed me with joy. These are all things God has done, is doing, and will always do and we praise Him for that.

The Bible has a lot to say about praise and I can’t include all of the verses here. However, at the end of this blog, you will find a free download for all the Scriptures listed here and a list of more verses for you to look up!

What is Praise? Praise is any verbal, written, or even mental conversation with God in which we express our gratitude, and thanks for what He has done in our lives, will do in our lives and is doing in our lives. It can involve physical expressions such as shouting, clapping, dancing, whirling, playing instruments, and more.

Praise and Thanksgiving

The verses above are just a few over 144 verses in the Bible that talk about praise and praising God. Giving thanks or expressing gratitude is a huge aspect of praise. Living a life of gratitude and thanksgiving is a powerful way to live, especially when you’re enduring difficult seasons in your life.

When my first husband died instantly in an accident, I learned the power of gratitude and thanksgiving in a way I had never known. I focused on being verbally thankful to God for what I had so that I did not focus on what I had lost. I was not in denial. Instead, I chose to be in the presence of God in the most painful time of my life remembering His goodness and all He had done for me.

Thanksgiving and gratitude are part of the expressions of praise. You can say out loud, “Oh God, my wonderful Savior, I thank you for . . . . . ” I had to repeat my gratitude multiple times per day and I still practice this in my life today. I know it will bring life and the realization of God’s presence even in the darkest valley.

What is Worship?

Hebrew words for worship have to do with submission, signs of submission, awe, reverence, intimacy, adoration, falling down before God, waiting upon as a servant, and repeating the action of prostrating oneself before their master, to be like a dog licking its master’s hand, and serving.

The following words are from Strong’s Concordance:

The New Testament also has words for worship such as Latreia – to render religious service or homage, to worship. Sebo means – to worship, revere, or adore. Latreuo – serve, especially God, perhaps simply: I worship.

The last two words – I worship – sum up worship. It is something no one else can do for you. It is your unique communion with God.

Why do these distinctions between the two words matter? Well, they matter because both types of expressions to God are clearly mentioned together and separately in the Bible.

Worshipping God

Worshipping God is a sign of your voluntary submission and servanthood. Being a voluntary servant is part of being a Christian. You’re serving a God of love and mercy in full submission because service to Him is an honor and pleasure.

Bowing before God is part of worship. Again, it demonstrates that you’re acknowledging Him as the God above, the God of Abraham, the God who sent His Son to save you, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and God above all other gods.

Inner and Outer Worship

What’s the difference between inner and outer worship? We saw above that the Hebrew words for worship describe outward actions of bowing before and prostrating oneself. Those outward actions must come from an inner source.

We often refer to going to church and singing as our ‘worship time or the worship section’ of a church service. Singing is part of worship but singing a song by itself is not worship. Worship must come from the innermost part of our being.

Jesus clarified this when He said, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
Matthew 15:8-9 ESV

Paul further clarified our worship in Romans 12:1 ESV, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Worship and Praise are sacrifices we are giving to God, “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Hebrews 13:15-16 ESV

The Passion Translation puts Hebrews 13:15-16 this way, “So we no longer offer up a steady stream of blood sacrifices, but through Jesus, we will offer up to God a steady stream of praise sacrifices—these are “the lambs” we offer from our lips that celebrate his name! We will show mercy to the poor and not miss an opportunity to do acts of kindness for others, for these are the true sacrifices that delight God’s heart.

Jesus says in John 4:23-24 TPT, “From now on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with a right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.

In these verses, we see that we need inward and outward expressions of worship to God. Those can include singing and speaking but worship took on a far deeper meaning after Jesus took down the veil of separation between the inner and outer courts in the temple. Now that we can come directly to God to worship, we must come with a right heart and worship in spirit and in truth.

BIble Verses About Worship

Here are a few more verses about worship and these along with more will be included at in the free printable at the end of the blog.

Psalm 95:6 TPT, “Come and kneel before this Creator-God; come and bow before the mighty God, our majestic maker!
Luke 4:8 TPT, “Jesus rebuked him and said, “Satan, get behind me! For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Only One is worthy of adoration; therefore, worship only the Lord your God and love him supremely.’” Hebrews 12:28 TPT, “Since we are receiving our rights to an unshakable kingdom we should be extremely thankful and offer God the purest worship that delights his heart as we lay down our lives in absolute surrender, filled with awe.”
1 Chronicles 16:29 The Voice, “Credit Him with the glory worthy of His magnificent name; gather your sacrifice, and present it before Him. Bow down to the Eternal, adorned in holiness.”
Revelation 15:4 The Voice, “Who will not fear You, Lord? Who will not glorify Your name? Because You alone are holy, all the nations will come and worship before You, For Your righteous judgments have been revealed.”

How to Praise and Worship God with Words

The heading here might sound silly but, I’ve spoken with people who just didn’t know what to say. They wanted to say the right things to God. Of course, if our words are coming from our deepest heart and soul, God will love them. But, there are times when you might just run out of words!

What is Praise and What is Worship?

Psalm 150

If that happens, go to the Word. One of the best places to go is to the Book of Psalms. Here is Psalm 150 as an example. Just put “I will or I” in front of the appropriate sentences.

Hallelujah! Praise God in His sanctuary. Praise Him in His mighty heavens.
Praise Him for His powerful acts; praise Him for His abundant greatness.
Praise Him with trumpet blast; praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with flute and strings.
Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with clashing cymbals.
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord.

Here is Psalm 29:1-2 TPT. I am personalizing it for you as an example.

(I will) Proclaim his majesty, (as a) you mighty sons (son/daughter) of Yahweh,
    giving all the glory and strength back to him!
(I will) Be in awe before his majesty.
(I will) Be in awe before such power and might!
(I) Come worship wonderful Yahweh, arrayed in all his splendor,
    bowing in worship as he appears in the beauty of holiness.
 (I) Give him the honor due his name.
 (I) Worship him wearing the glory-garments
    of (my) your holy, priestly calling!

I have a color-coding system to highlight verses in my Bible with colors that designate praise and worship to our God. When I’m praying, I can just go to my Bible, especially in Psalms, and pray the Word of God almost continually as I move from page to page.

What is worship? Worship begins in the inner man, in our heart and soul. From there, outward expressions such as bowing, lying prostrate on the floor, throwing our hands toward heaven, singing of who God is, His greatness, majesty, and glory. Shouting our words of worship. Playing an instrument and serving Him as our acceptable service of worship. I worship. No one else can worship on your behalf.

How to Praise and Worship God?

Hopefully, you see why praise and worship are two different things working together in our lives and our discipleship. Through understanding, we can praise and worship our God in Spirit and in Truth offering sacrifices that are pleasing to Him.

We engage in praise and worship both in and outside of church buildings. Some of the best worship times I’ve ever had were on my motorcycle singing worship to my God. You can engage in praise and worship in your car, in your house, outside, inside, and everywhere because you can also express praise and worship silently as your spirit communes with the Holy Spirit living inside you.

Be sure to get your free Scriptures on Praise and Worship by Clicking Here. Then use them to give praise and worship to God and use them in your prayers. Prayer and worship work hand-in-hand. Pray the Scriptures on praise and worship, personalizing them and making them your own. Prayer is a form of worship.

You might also enjoy reading – 5 Steps to Bible Color Coding With Free Guide

I4LT uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit this page – Scripture Citations. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.