The Difference in Praise and Worship

Sometimes, the Lord directs me to engage in conversation in an attempt to increase others’ understanding of the scriptures and encourage them to increase their study. I posed a question on Facebook about the difference in praise and worship. There is a difference! I have a very learned friend in Worship Studies, who says the correct terminology is Praise IN Worship.

Thank you to everyone who chimed in. There were some interesting responses. We were on the right track but I want to just add a little more substance.

Throughout the Bible, the commands to “praise the Lord” are too numerous to mention. We can praise Him with singing, with shouting, with the dance and with musical instruments.

Praise is the joyful recounting of all God has done for us. It is closely intertwined with thanksgiving as we offer back to God appreciation for His mighty works on our behalf. But remember praise is universal and can be applied to other relationships as well. We can praise our family, friends, boss, or paperboy. Praise doesn’t 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.

Worship, however, comes from a different place within our spirits. Worship should be reserved for God alone (Luke 4:8). Praise can be a part of worship, but worship goes beyond praise. Praise is easy; worship isn’t.

Worship gets to the heart of who we are. To truly worship God, we must let go of our self-worship. 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.

If you notice in scripture, praise is usually presented as boisterous, joyful, and uninhibited. Jesus said that if people don’t praise God, even the “stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40).

But when the Bible mentions worship, you notice 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. 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.

Worship is an attitude of the heart. A person can go through the outward motions and not be worshipping. God sees the heart, and He desires and deserves sincere, heartfelt praise and worship.

So we have to examine ourselves. Are we worshipping God or are we only giving praise, which can also be reserved for anyone?

Your thoughts?


Denyse H. Turner, L.H.D, M.P.H., M.A., ACC
First Lady who is out to help others win!
I am picking up ministry where my husband left off!
Public Speaker/Coach/Author/Trainer/Counselor/Faith-Based Travel Educator
First Lady and Chief Connector at Dr. Gregory C. Turner, Late Pastor of Christ Temple Baptist Church


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