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Praise and Worship: What's the Difference?

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


Praise and Worship

Your personal praise and worship you do during the week should enhance your corporate praise and worship on Sunday mornings. The corporate praise and worship you do on Sunday morning should enhance your personal praise and worship all week long. You should enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. So, you see you bring praise to church with you instead of coming “to get your praise on.”


What is Praise?

Praise means “to commend, to applaud or to magnify.” Praise to God is an expression of worship, lifting up and glorifying God. It is an expression of humbling ourselves and centering our attention upon the Lord with heartfelt expressions of love, adoration, and thanksgiving. High praises bring our spirit into a pinnacle of fellowship and intimacy with God. It magnifies our awareness of our spiritual union with the Most High God. Praise transports us into the realm of the supernatural and into the power of God.

Praise has more to do with music than worship does. Scriptures such as 1 Samuel 10, 1 Samuel 16, 2 Kings 3 and 1 Chronicles 25 teach us that music served as an instrument to release God's power and prophetic anointing. The Israelites at the wall of Jericho and Gideon's army used music with their praise to bring down God's mighty presence.

Praise is NEVER silent. It is ALWAYS vocal. You have to say it; that is if you have breath. It is not praise unless it is audible. (Psalm 92:1, 95:1, 100:1, 111; 103:1-5; 111, 116:17; 145:1; 145:4a)

Many Actions of Praise

There are many actions involved with praise to God — verbal expressions of adoration and thanksgiving, singing, playing instruments, shouting, dancing, lifting or clapping our hands.

True praise is not “merely” going through these motions. Genuine praise to God should not be an outward show. It is a matter of humility and sincere devotion to the Lord that comes from within. Jesus calls those hypocrites who do it just for show. (Matthew 23:25).


Purposes of Praise

Praise serves many different purposes.

  • To praise is to be obedient to the word of God.
  • Praise elevates us into the presence and power of God
  • Praise sends the enemy running.
  • God is pleased with our praise.
  • God inhabits our praise.
Those who worship God should worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

Those who worship God should worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

What is Worship?

The true meaning of the word ‘worship' in the Old Testament meant to “bow down, to prostrate oneself, to look toward, or kiss toward”. These descriptions tell us that worship is both the heart's attitude and physical action before or towards God. It involves our whole being. It is a word that describes our relationship with God. Worship comes from the word “worthy.”

Personal worship is not complete worship. Personal worship creates a desire for corporate worship. "O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Psalm. 34:3)

Genuine personal worship must and will lead to corporate worship. Perhaps this is because no individual worshiper can provide sufficient response to God's majesty. The fullness of God's nature requires a response from the diversity of the body of Christ. As individuals begin to appreciate God's character in personal worship, they are driven to corporate worship.

Worship is all about Him!

Worship is all about Him!

Why People Worship

People have various reasons to worship.

  • Worship is commanded by God. (Psalms 22:23)
  • God is worthy of our worship and praise. (Psalms 18:3)
  • Worship glorifies God. (Psalms 50:23)
  • It helps develop our relationship with God. (Mark 12:30)
  • It releases the power of God's presence. (Psalm 22:3)
  • We become like what we worship. (Psalm 106:19-20; 2 Corinthians 3:18 )
  • It is the proper way to come before God. (Psalm 100:1-4)
  • It helps us to become God-centered instead of self-centered. (Isaiah 26:3)
  • It is part of our priestly ministry. (1 Peter 2:5-9)
  • It is a definite sign of life. (Psalm 115:17; Isaiah 38:19)
  • It brings us out of depression and stress.
  • It keeps our relationship with God intimate.
Praises going up!

Praises going up!

What Happens When People Worship

Whenever we respond in obedience to the Lord, by our faith we put certain spiritual laws into operation for us. Therefore, we can expect certain results in spiritual realms.

  • Victory over our enemies (2 Chronicles 20:1-30)
  • Release from bondage (Acts 16:16-34; Jonah 1:17-2:10)
  • Inner peace and joy (1 Samuel 16:14-23)
  • The breaking up of large problems (Joshua 16:1-20)
  • Special protection from enemies (Isaiah 4:5-6)
  • Manifestations of God's presence and power (2 Chronicles 5:12-14)
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Brings God down to us

'Takes us up to God 

Talking about God 

Talking to God 

With music

True meaning without music

Leads us into worship

Worship starts with praise

Says "God is..."

Says "God, you are..."

Never silent; always vocal

Could be silent

Can be personal

More effective with others


Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on May 31, 2019:

My experiences since my 1973 new conception, Margaret, is those two terms can't be differentiated. When one does one they are doing the other and for an example I will give a 1977 experience in Florida.

A boy stopped me as I and two others entered a laundromat asking me to talk with him and I agreed to as soon as I had put my clothes in the wash. I returned and sat on the hood of their car so he hung up the phone and came with an un-open half or gallon of wine. He explained his dilemma of having been on either a 6 or 16 week drunk and wanted off without the DT's. I replied for him, since he attended AA meetings, "talk with your higher power". He kept begging me to help and I kept repeating those words a bout every five minutes.

When the other boys brought out our finished laundry they was told him it is not a sin to drink, opened his wins and both drank of it but he didn't. He continued asking me for help as the others walked away I continued my reply. Suddenly he walked toward a brick building and flung the wine against it then returned crying "praise god, I took that wine and flung it against the building, if someone had told me to do it I would have fought them but praise God I flung it against that building."

Shortly the other two came and took us two a fellowship where we sat in a circle with each giving their name and testimony beginning with the one on my left. The durnk was asleep on my right as each explained who they were and their relationship to God. When it got to him he woke up and exclaimed "praise god, I took that wine and flung it against the building, if someone had told me to do it I would have fought them but praise God I flung it against that building." Then one of the two told him "go back to sleep with your drunk self."

I immediately told them he has just overcome alcoholism and that was the only testimony he has so allow him to testify then he went back to sleep.

The boys took us back to Orlando where I was staying and spent the night. On awaking the next morning he gave his testimony adding he didn't have DTs. I allowed him to order whatever he desired and after breakfast he repeated his testimony adding "I don't have no DTs". After breakfast it was the same and continued until he realized he need to return to where he had been picked up so I divided half of the money I had with him and sent him on his way rejoicing and repeating his testimony with the inclusion.

That was both worship and praise for the work God had done for him and there is no way they can be separated. Peace!

Alan on July 24, 2013:

this was good for my child named Allena

Belinda Okahandja, Namibia on April 26, 2013:

Job well done! I thank God for your well outlined explanation. I knew there was difference between praise and worship, but I was not able to tell/explain the difference. This information was very helpful to me. All the glory be to God and may He continue to use you greatly.

Pastor William Wells on February 06, 2013:

Thanks for defining & explaining with scripture the difference between "praise" and "worship". Your information was very helpful. May God richly bless you.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 17, 2012:

Vida, I am glad I could help you understand this. Thanks for commenting.

vida on September 14, 2012:

Thank you so much, I have been confused about the difference between the two and this information was very helpful to me. I understand now. Thank you, thank you and thank you.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on July 16, 2012:

Pastor K, thanks for reading and commenting.

Pastork on July 15, 2012:

Thanks for this wonderful word of exhortation... I was inspired by reading. Pastor K.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on May 05, 2012:

Didge, thanks for reading and commenting.

Didge from Southern England on April 30, 2012:

Very useful hub. Good job!

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on April 13, 2012:

Phylamaye, thanks for reading and commenting. I am glad you enjoyed reading about the difference between praise and worship.

Phylamaye Mattis on April 13, 2012:

Great job! I really did enjoy reading this article which is my favorite subject . May you continue to be a blessing to the body of Christ.

Ronald Madrigal on April 01, 2012:

I liked. I am learning here

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on November 11, 2011:

Michelle and Ogunrinde, thanks for reading and commenting.

Ogunrinde olanrewaju on November 10, 2011:

Thanks for this topic cos i now understand the difference between worship and praise

Michelle on October 18, 2011:

A friend asked about the difference between the two. I could not break it down in as much divine detail as you have. We bless God for you. To God Be The Glory for you His servant.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on October 17, 2011:

Thanks, Kate, for your comment.

Kate Barasa on October 08, 2011:

Thanks for this wonderful lesson on praise and worship.God bless you mightily.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on April 13, 2011:

Thanks Rev. for reading and responding.

REV AVOYAM on April 13, 2011:


Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 02, 2011:

CDL Career Coach, thank you so much for reading and responding.

CDL Career Coach from Eugene, Oregon on March 02, 2011:

Nice hub, I've never considered a difference between praise and worship before. I like that part about praise has to be audible and couldn't help but think about praising our kids there... and how many kids don't know their parents appreciate them because mom & dad never say it out loud or in front of their kids, even when they mean it in their heart?

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on February 24, 2011:

Dave, continue to pray, praise and worship God through song.

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on February 24, 2011:

revmjm: Prayer, and Praise, and Worship, WOW! my favorite things to do. As a choir singer, I can and I do, all in song.

I figure since God is the author of every piece of music ever written and composed, I please him most and best, when I sing.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on February 22, 2011:

Treasuresofheaven: Thanks for reading and responding. Now I am lifting my hands in praise.

Sima Ballinger from Michigan on February 22, 2011:

I needed my Bible beside me reading this good juicy Hub! You should write "Warning": this Hub can not be read fast - read slow, so you can digest it". Now I have to go back and read it again.

Great job! Vote Up and Useful!

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