“Praise & Worship” is a phrase often used in Christianity, the words themselves often being used interchangeably.
In this article we will take a look at defining the “Praise” and “Worship” terms in a simple manner, as the title of the article indicates. If we were to do a full word study in the Hebrew and Greek texts, and an examination of the history of praise and worship in the Old and New Testaments, this two-part article would become a very thick book, very quickly.
So, for the purpose of keeping our devotional regarding the terms “Praise” and “Worship” brief, we will forego all of the scriptural proofs (this time) and simply share the “bottom line” so that the next time we are in a church service, we may engage in praise and worship with a deeper, more genuine, and perhaps more simple approach.
So, here is the basic and general approach to defining our two terms, again without all of the proofs.
Praise: This is the public call to come and publicly express adoration for God. Praise is intended to be heard by other people, in the hope that they will join in the public call for one and all to join together and to meet with God. Praise may be loud or soft, but either way it is intended to be heard by many other people.
Worship: This is the one-on-one time of expressing one’s love and adoration and thanksgiving to God. Worship may be done in public or in private. When done in public, it is a means for setting an example for others to either learn or to summon the courage to engage God one on one. There is a false notion today that “worship” is quite, but that notion comes from the old stoic philosophy that says the expression of emotion is ungodly or immature. A study of praise and worship in scripture quickly reveals that the volume of sound is almost always louder as opposed to quieter when it comes to both times of worship and praise.
That is it. I feel like this is inadequate, but that is because we are trying to define something simply that has so much in scripture that may be studied and discussed.
Again, “Praise” is intended to be a public, clarion call for everybody within ear-shot to come and join in the meeting with God. “Worship” is the one-on-one time of giving full expression to one’s heart, and also serves as an example for the new believers to follow as they develop their relationship and their communication skills (i.e. prayer) with God.