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The Difference Between Praise and Worship

We hear a lot about praise and worship today, perhaps more than at any other time in history because the return of the Lord draws near; and His faithful disciples are preparing their hearts to receive their heavenly Bridegroom. What a glorious day it will be when the saints of the ages are caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. I know many of you have already entered into serious praise and worship, while listening for the sound of the trumpet proclaiming His imminent appearing:

16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thess 4:16-17

There is a tendency among believers to use the terms “praise” and “worship” interchangeably as if the words are synonymous, but they actually have different connotations as seen in the following Hebrew definitions:

Praise: halal = “to be boastful, to be clamorously foolish, rave, celebrate

Worship: shachah = to bow down, prostrate oneself in homage before a superior, before God in adoration”

Do you see the difference between the two words? Praise can be given to individuals who are due honor or acknowledgement for certain feats, but worship belongs to God for He alone is worthy of man’s adoration. We praise God with thankful hearts for all He has done for us, dying on the cross to forgive our sins and for being an integral part of our lives. We praise Him for His glorious Creation and His unfathomable, mighty deeds and unlimited power… but we worship Him simply because He is God, and He is most worthy to receive worship!

Worship carries a much stronger message than praise, conveying exceedingly great love and devotion to the object of one’s worship, namely, Almighty God. One could describe worship as praise on steroids as it comes from man’s innermost being. Man is to worship the Lord with his every thought, deed, and action. Rather than relegating the act of worship to service time, the lifestyle of the true disciple of Yeshua should be one of continuous worship as he interacts with those around him in daily life.

Praise and worship are high-energy action verbs, implying that we are to worship the Lord with our whole body, mind, soul, and spirit, surrendering ourselves as a living sacrifice before is sacred altar His sacred altar. Maintaining a constant attitude of praise in daily life prepares the faithful to enter into a deeper level of worship and intimacy with the heavenly Bridegroom. Worship is not a chore; rather it is a delight for those who delight themselves in the Lord. “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps 37:4). Be blessed as you worship our soon-coming Bridegroom, Yeshua!