What Is the Difference Between Praise and Worship?

In many churches, praise is a song about God in which the lyrics express all of the good things God does. Worship is a song that is sung to God, and it typically contains lyrics in which the singer says things such as, "You are holy," "You are worthy" or "Your glory fills the earth."

In English, the word "worship" is derived from Old English words that mean "worth" and "the quality or condition of." In essence, if it is of worth, one spends time and energy on it. When God is worshipped, one is proclaiming that God alone is worthy of adoration. Praise is often defined as declaring what God did or does, while worship is defined as honoring God for who He is. Worship is also defined as the way one lives his life, proving adoration for God through the choices made and paths taken.

Churches typically incorporate both praise and worship songs during the course of the service. These songs are either energetic or somber, but both types are ascribed to either praise or worship. Praise and worship is also expressed through the reading of scriptures. Some words in the Old Testament describe concepts about both praise and worship, such as the word "barak," meaning to kneel in adoration and bless God, or "halal," meaning to celebrate or shout "hallelujah."