Home About Us Apostolic Free Library Questions & Answers Guestbook Order Online Search The Network

What is the difference between praise and worship?

Submitted: 12/7/2005
Post a comment or
ask a follow-up question
Question: What is the difference between praise and worship? And how does one tell the difference between the two?

Answer: Hebrews 13:15 defines 'praise' as 'the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.' The word 'praise' comes from the same root as 'prize.' When we praise something, we are saying that we prize it; that is, we consider it to be valuable. We show that we value God by praising Him. This can be with words that express thankfulness and appreciation or in other ways, such as dancing or raising the hands (Psalms 149:3; Psalms 134:2). The word 'worship' comes from the root worth+ship. It also means to esteem the value of someone or something. This tells us that praise and worship are closely connected and perhaps synonymous.

The problem arises when people go through the external motions of praise/worship but do not put their heart into it. In John 4:23-24 Jesus said, 'But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.' If there are true worshipers, then there must also be false worshipers. Who are they? Jesus described them in Matthew 15:8-9 when He said, 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me....' We may not always be able to tell the true worshipers from the false at first glance. But over time the false with become more obvious because their lives will not agree with their profession of faith. This is because they are not loving God with 'all their heart, soul, and strength.'

Let us worship God in truth from our hearts!