Leading Worship: What Is The Difference Between Praise and Worship?

I recently posed a question on our Worship Ministry Facebook Fan Page and it went something like this…Worship Ministry Thursday’s question of the week…What is the difference between “Praise” and “Worship”? Wow, the response we received was amazing and I wanted to share it with you here on our blog.

Jim Clendenen: Praise is always visible … worship can be visible or not.

Triveno Smith: Praise can be done from a far. To worship, we need to be in the presence of God.

Alvin Edington Jr.: Praise is lifting up, worship is bowing down. Praise applauds God for who He is, what He has done, what He is doing and what He’s gonna do. Worship is humbling before His presence in awe of His holiness and sovereignty.

Elda Banda Cummings: Praise is only one phase of Worship. Worship is UPreach, INreach and OUTreach together. Praise is UPreach and possibly INreach, as we build up the body as well as give God the glory.

Alvin Edington Jr.: Praise, to speak well of or strong words of approval. Worship, reverence for God. T.D Jakes said it this way once. Praise is “Lord, thank you for my job, thank you for my shoes, thank you for my family…” and worship says… “If I don’t have a job, if I don’t have shoes, if I don’t have a car, if my family is a mess, I worship You for who You are…”

Neil P Kovac: Folks why is this so complex? Praise is the opening, worship is the entering. Nice question though.

Lewis Chatman: We are called, crafted, and created to be both praise and worship before and because of the Lord… We, as believers in the Lord Jesus, are both Praise and Worship thru our relationship with Him.

Cheryl Campbell: The difference is you praise God for what He has done….Psalm 150 – “Prasie Him for His Mighty acts”… the things he saves you from everyday, the things you don’t see that could happen to us. Worship is telling Him how wonderful, glorious, marvelous, powerful, loving, strong, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient He is. HALLELUJAH!!!!!

Darwin Elli: Praise means “to commend, to applaud or magnify.” For the Christian, praise to God is an expression of worship, lifting-up and glorifying the Lord. It is an expression of humbling ourselves and centering our attention upon the Lord with heart-felt expressions of love, adoration and thanksgiving. High praises bring our spirit into a pinnacle of fellowship and intimacy between ourselves and 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.
The English word “worship” comes from two Old English words: weorth, which means “worth,” and scipe or ship, which means something like shape or “quality.” So worth-ship is the quality of having worth or of being worthy. When we worship, we are saying that God has worth, that he is worthy. Worship means to declare worth, to attribute worth. Or, to put it in biblical terms, we praise God. We speak, or sing, about how good and powerful God is.

Robin-Kelli Kirchner: To me- Praise is all about us to HIM- thanking him and praising HIM for what HE has done. Worship is all about HIM. – Who HE is- What HE is- Praise and Worship is HIS part of the service- where the focus is totally about HIM or because of HIM.


Jim Clendenen: There are serveral Hebrew words for ‘praise':

Yadah – to throw out, to worship with an extended hand(Psalm 63:4). This one is significant because it is the root of “Judah”. Try substituting “Praise” each time you read “Judah” and you’ll see what I mean, e.g., “Lion of the Tribe of Praise.”

Barak – to kneel, to bless God as an act of adoration, implying an expectation of something from the Lord (Psalm 95:6)

Halal – a primary root word for praise, and the root of our word ‘hallelujah’. It means to shine, to boast, to celebrate, to be ‘clamourously foolish”. The literal translation is “to spin like a top” (Psalm 113:1).

Karar – to dance ( 2 Samuel 6:16)

Shabach – to address in a loud tone; a shout, a command (Psalm 145:4)

Taqa (Taqua) – to clap hands ( Psalm 47:1)

Todah (Towdah) – same root as yadah, but literally means ” an extension of the hands in avowal, adoration, or acceptance ( Psalm 50:14)

Zamar – to touch strings – instrumental worship ( Psalm 1:13)

Tehillah – to sing or laud. A spontaneous, extemporaneous song. This is the praise described by John in Revelation. It is in this atmosphere of tehillah praise that God dwells. ‘Psalms” in Hebrew becomes ” Tehillim”.

Only one word I can find for worship: ‘shachah’ – Strong’s H7811, to ‘bow down’ or ‘fall prostrate”. Also seems to mean ‘depress’, which would be the opposite of ‘lift up’. So if we worship … we become less and He becomes greater. Just my 2 cents. I agree with a previous comment too, in that anyone can praise, but true worship requires a relationship. And for what it’s worth, I didn’t dig this all up. I think a bunch of it came from Lamar Boschman.

Loraine Vinson: Praise is telling God who he is but worship is telling God who he is to me and it’s just between He and me.

Joann Montes: Well, I can see that we still struggle with accurately defining what praise and worship is and consequently the difference between the two.  Praise, according to many dictionaries is to commend or to express favorable judgment. Worship is expresed respect, admiration, devotion and love.  One can praise almost anything with no consequence. In fact, it is suggested that we encourage one another to love and to good works. Ex. “Brother, your presentation today was excellent. Thank you.”  We praise God when we celebrate the things He has done. Ex. “Thank you for saving me, God.”  Worship goes beyond what God has done. Worship is the reverence, admiration, devotion and love we give Him for who He is, regardless of what we receive from the Lord. Hence, we give it to no one else. Ex. Habakkuk 3:17, 18 “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines… yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”  The difference between the praise and worship is the focus.
Praise: What God has done.
Worship: Who God is.

Danni Stephens: Praise is for what He has done, worship is for the fact the He is God, because He alone is THE great and Mighty, The ONLY God, The great I AM. Period.

Dreamcoat Coffee: Praise is about God, worship is to God

Poetry Dancer: Praise and worship are part of the same continuum, and worship is more than an action, it is a way of life. Whatever we devote our time and energies to is worship. We worship God when we obey Him, and consider Him and our relationship to Him. When we give thanks and praise to God, that is also worship. I don’t believe there is much of a difference because true praise to God is an element of worship and true worship gives praise to God.

Maximillion Elliott-Quinerly: Praise is when we call God into our presence and worship is when He calls us into HIS!

So there you have it.  If you have something to add to this, please comment below.

Other Leading Worship Articles.


  1. Manuel says

    “Worship” is a very big word and also a very small word. In one usage, the word refers to what happens on a Sunday morning service before the sermon. In another usage, it is how we conduct our lives, in humble submission to the Lordship of Christ. And there are many other uses in the continuum, as shown above. So although I find your query interesting and thought-provoking, is it not as much an issue of semantics as it is theology?

  2. says

    Praise is to declare his righteousness, sing in adoration and give an outward expression of approval and love toward God. Worship is to walk in that expression in everything you are and do. Praise is the action, worship is the lifestyle. Praise is the vehicle to enter the most holy place, worship is dwelling there.

  3. Rev. Ajibola Fagboyegun says

    Praise is the language, worship is the act. Worship is an embodiment of praise and adoration. It engages the soul spirit and body.

  4. Ron says

    scripture says that praise is words lifted to Him where as worship is the things we do for Him. Rom. 12:1, Ps. 9:11 

  5. Sldouglas64 says

    Yes I agree with everyone.  Well said. 

    Re: We worship God all the time and praise and worship are pretty much the same

    Just have a comment pertaining to that.  I believe what everyone is talking about here is corporate worship as well as personal worship.  Like previously stated anyone can praise God, but worship comes from a relationship with Him.  The scripture says, “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” Psalm 150:6  To reinerate, every body can praise the Lord, but not every0ne can worship Him.  Worship develops when your relationship with Jesus Christ develops.

  6. Sam Kuehn says

    A Christ for the Nations Praise leader once said “if your measuring out your worship you haven’t seen his worth”. The Taj Mahal is Worship, a pouring out of all that I have in adoration of the one who captivates my attention, anything less is praise. May The Father of Lights show us our value so we can recognize his. Blessings

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