I hear people talking about praise and worship. Are they the same? If
not, how are they related? What is the difference between
Below is Dr. Roger’s reply:
The ministry of praise and the experience of worship are not
Praise is unidirectional. We praise God. He does not praise us.
Praise is our acknowledgement of His power, authority, wisdom and worthiness.
Praise does not require a response from the one who is being praised.
the other hand, worship is relational. It is not only our communion with God. It
is also is His communion with us.
“Ascribe to the Lord, all you families
of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the
glory due his name; (these three phrases describe praise). bring an offering and
come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness (these two
phrases describe worship)” (1 Chronicles 16:28-29).
Praise is something
that we can do by ourselves–or with others. Worship is something that we do
alone–in our innermost being.
Praise has to do with our telling God and
others how wonderful He is.
Praise has to do with shouting forth of his
marvelous character, compassion, and marvelous creation, just to name a few of
his powerful attributes.
Some definitions may help to further our
understanding of worship.
The Hebrew word for worship is “Shaha.” It
means to “bow low” or to “prostrate” oneself. Worship involves our bowing low
before the Lord, not only physically, but in our hearts.
The Greek word
for worship is “Proskyneo.” This word means “to kiss the hand of one who is
Praise usually precedes worship. “Enter His gates with
thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4).
Understanding the nature of worship means understanding Paul’s allegory
that compares us to the Temple in Jerusalem.
“Do you not know that your
body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received
from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God
with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Praise manifests itself in
our body and soul.
Worship manifests itself in our human spirit
where God dwells.
Paul wrote, “I will pray with my spirit, but I will
also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my
mind” (1 Corinthians 14:15).
Worship flows both ways. God wants to be
with me. I want to be with God.
Here are some ways that may help us
transition into true worship.
1. Begin with a time of
2. Transition into quieting your soul.
demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the
knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to
Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Taking thoughts captive is the key to
quieting down our souls. Unfortunately, we evangelical Christians don’t know
much about meditation.
If you are just a beginner, try quieting your mind
for 15 minutes. If you get distracted then capture that runaway thought and
return to quietness.
This principle is described by David In Psalm
“Oh Lord, my heart is not lifted up. I do not occupy myself with
things too high and mighty for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a
child quieted it and its mother’s breast. Like a child that is quieted is my
Notice that we can choose to quiet our souls if we want. A quiet
soul is well within our reach.
3. Transition from soul to
Don’t be in a hurry for something to happen. Take time to
listen for God to speak.
Listening for God to speak is one of the
most dynamic dimensions of worship.
“Guard your steps when you go to the
house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who
do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty
in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on
earth, so let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:1-2).
It’s a very
precious moment when our souls quiet down and God begins speaking.
more time we spend worshiping with Him in our spirits the more intimate our
relationship, and friendship with Him will be.
Worshiping in the
spirit is relational.
In John 4, Jesus told the woman at the well
that true worshipers are those who worship in spirit and truth.
makes it clear that God is seeking out true worshipers. Think what it means to
be the kind of person with whom God wants to spend time. What does it do to your
heart when you realize that God wants to spend time with you in
Here are some worship tools that I use to help transition
from soul to spirit.
Tool #1: One dimension of worship is sensing
Christ’s pain and then comforting Him.
For example, we discover in
Genesis 6 that God was grieved that He had made mankind. People who are hurting
need comfort. Have you ever considered that intimacy comes from comforting God
for the hurts he’s experienced? Tell Him you’re sorry that he got hurt. Imagine
the pain he’s experienced.
Tool #2: Try seeing Jesus from a relational
We call Psalm 23 the “Shepherd’s Psalm” but it’s really
not. It is the “Sheep’s Psalm.” David gets down on his knees and imagines his
shepherd from the sheep’s point of view.
Now, quietly on your knees,
picture yourself as a sheep and sense what it’s like to be secure in the hands
of the Shepherd.
Tool #3: Look for biblical examples that help us see
into the heart of God.
Ten lepers came to Jesus for healing. As they
followed his instructions and were running to the Temple priests, they were
healed as they ran.
One of them turned back in gratitude, and kneeled at
Jesus’ feet to worship. Listen to the sadness in Jesus’ voice when he asked,
“Didn’t I heal ten? Where are the other nine?” Can you meditate on the pain in
Tool #4: Put yourself in Bible stories.
the Red Sea in Exodus. What would it be like to be the last one out of the sea?
The Egyptians are getting closer and closer. I am running faster and faster. I
see Moses’ hands raised in the distance. The Rod of God is about to descend and
re-flood the Sea. It is going to be close. Will the Egyptians catch me before
Moses lowers his staff?
At the moment I’m clear, Moses lowers his hands
and the sea rushes in to destroy the Egyptian army. What a relief? Saved by the
hand of God. Imagine my feelings and emotions!
A sense of holiness and
awe overwhelm those who worship in the spirit.
Well Liz, I hope that I
answered your question and that you’ll spend many wonderful moments praising God
and communing with him — Holy Spirit to human spirit.
Dr. Roger Barrier]