Praise vs worship: is there a difference between these words’ meanings?

Aug 13, 2023 | Uncategorized

The words praise and worship are commonly used in church. Praise and worship is a special time during a church service when everyone stands up and sings songs to glorify God. Do these two words mean the same, or are they different notions? What is the difference between praise vs worship? Learn here the true meanings of these two words.

praise vs worship
Group of people standing and praising. Photo:, @Pavel Danilyuk
Source: UGC

Praise and worship allow individuals to express gratitude and appreciation towards a higher power, such as God, the divine, or the universe. It is a way of acknowledging and giving thanks for the blessings and goodness received in life. Here are several praise and worship images and all you need to know about the two.

Praise vs worship: What is the difference?

Engaging in praise and worship can lead to personal growth and transformation. It encourages self-reflection, introspection, and the development of virtues like compassion, love, and forgiveness. Are the two different?

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Praise and worship defined

What is the meaning of worship? It is defined as the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. Christian worship can then be defined as reverence and adoration for God.

The Greek word that is most often translated as worship in the New Testament is known as “prosumer”, which means to “fall down before or bow down before” or “to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence”.

It was used as homage shown to men and beings of a superior rank. The Hebrew word for worship in the Bible is “Shaha”, which means “to bow low or to prostrate oneself”.

What is the meaning of praise? It is defined as the expression of one’s gratitude and respect towards a deity, especially in a song. Christian praise can be defined as the expression of gratitude and respect towards God, especially in a song.

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There are three Hebrew words in the Bible that are translated as praise. One is “yadah”, which means “praise or give thanks or confess”. Another one is “Samar”, which means “sing praise”, and “halal” (which is the root word for hallelujah), which means to praise, honour, or commend.

What’s the difference between worship and praise?

what comes first praise or worship
People holding hands while worshipping. Photo:, @Luis Quintero
Source: UGC

Most people see worship as slow and melodic songs that often require the closing of eyes, and lifting of hands in reverence to God, while praise is considered as the singing of fast songs and dancing to God.

However, these two words mean more than just songs or singing; they are two different things. Worship completely differs from praise, but praise can be a part of worship.

Praise is appreciating God, especially in songs. It is joyfully recounting everything that God has done and showing him gratitude for it. Praise usually goes along with thanksgiving, appreciating God for all the might and good works He has done in our lives.

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Praise is a universal thing and can be applied to anybody. It doesn’t require much from us other than the acknowledgement of the righteous acts of God. Praise is usually presented as highly-spirited, joyful and uninhibited in the Bible. God asks all creation to praise him.

Worship, on the other hand, goes deeper than praise. It is something that comes from the Spirit. It is often said that it is an attitude or state of the heart. In the Bible, Jesus spoke about worship in John 4, verse 23.

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

Worship for Christians goes beyond singing. Songs are just tools for worshipping. Praise stems from recognizing the good acts of God, but worship is not a function of the acts of God. Worship comes from the core of who the worshipper is and what God means to them.

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In true worship, Christians must surrender themselves to God and adore Him for what He has done and who He is.

Worship involves bowing low before the Lord, physically and in the heart. Real and true worship is insightful and reflective.

Worship is a lifestyle that is not just limited to when people raise their hands to sing to God in church. And praise comes from a heart of worship.

Praise and worship are not limited to just Christians. People sing praises of other people also and even praises to other deities. People also worship other fellow human beings, especially when that person means everything to them.

Hence, worship can also be seen as an act of reverence and honour for someone or something in which a person places their faith.

Bible verses about praise and worship

praise and worship defined
Close-up of hands in worship. Photo:, @Pixabay
Source: UGC

Here are some praise and worship scriptures from the Bible.

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  • I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. – Psalm 9:1
  • About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. – Acts 16:25
  • 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
  • Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. – Isaiah 12:5
  • Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness, you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. – Isaiah 25:1
  • Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power, forever and ever!”. – Revelation 5:13
  • Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. – Acts 2:46-47
  • And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since, as members of one body, you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:14-17
  • Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:1-2
  • Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. – Psalm 95:1-6
  • I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. – Exodus 20:2-6

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What comes first, praise or worship?

In religious and spiritual contexts, the order of praise and worship can vary depending on different faiths and denominations’ specific practices and traditions.

In some traditions, praise may come first, where individuals or the congregation express admiration and gratitude towards a higher power by acknowledging and celebrating the divine’s attributes, goodness, and blessings.

In other traditions, worship may come first, signifying the act of showing devotion, adoration, and reverence to the divine before expressing praise for the divine’s qualities and actions.

What is the meaning behind the words praise and worship?

difference between worship and praise
A man raising his left hand. Photo:, @Luis Quintero
Source: UGC

Both praise and worship involve expressions of reverence and adoration to a higher power. Praise primarily focuses on acknowledging and celebrating the greatness and goodness of the divine, while worship involves a deeper sense of devotion, submission, and alignment with the divine will.

What is the difference between praise music and worship music?

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Praise music expresses adoration, thanksgiving, and celebration of God’s attributes, goodness, and blessings. It emphasizes praising and glorifying God for who He is and what He has done.

Worship music is focused on creating an atmosphere of reverence, intimacy, and spiritual connection with God. It aims to lead believers into a deeper encounter with the divine presence.

What is the main focus of praise in a religious context?

Praise in religious practices involves expressing admiration, gratitude, and reverence towards the object of worship. It is a way for believers to show their devotion, faith, and love for their spiritual source.

What are the primary emotions evoked by praise music and worship music?

Praise music typically evokes emotions of joy, celebration, and gratitude as believers express their admiration and thanksgiving to God. On the other hand, worship music tends to evoke reverence, awe, and a sense of spiritual closeness to God as individuals seek a deeper connection and surrender in their worship experience.

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Praise vs worship involves expressing reverence and adoration to a higher power. Both aspects are essential in religious and spiritual practices and are often intertwined in acts of devotion and gratitude. compiled a list of the most interesting and educating Bible stories perfect for children. Bible stories for kids teach children how to become morally upright. Through its lessons, your kids can resist evil and live more responsibly.

Through the holy book, you find inspiring characters like Abraham, Noah, Esther, Ruth, and Joseph. Bible stories are an excellent tool for passing moral lessons to your children. They feature practical examples that the young ones can relate to. You can use them to identify weaknesses and vices in your kids that need reproaching and virtues that need upholding.


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