We have probably heard someone at church say, “We are going to have “Praise and Worship“
What once began as a simple catch phrase to attract people towards Christian devotional songs has transformed into unclear believers custom. We’ve tossed the phrase around without stopping to consider the meaning behind the words. The unintended result is that music, one of God’s gifts to aid us in worshiping, has for many become an end in itself. The danger of over familiarity and of misusing biblical terms is that the purity of our praise and worship actually ends up diluted.
When we were a new Christian, having been raised in another faith, it was unaware to the various new believers, phrases being taught to us. All we knew was the experience we were having with God. As we began to grow spiritually, believer’s lingo became a part of my Christian life ― somehow dulling out those experiences we used to have. we had become numb in a way. No longer was praise and worship an experience with God; it was just another part of the “church” experience.
So, I decided to do some research on my own and get back to the basics. Here is what I discovered.
WHAT IS PRAISE?
Praise in the original Greek means to sing, to tell of, to give, or to confess.* In simpler terms, it means to be thankful for God’s blessings, and to declare that good news to God and to others. Here are some word of the God in Scripture about Praising and what does it mean to us to have thankfulness and gratitude towards the Loving Father God:
- (Psalms 9:1-2, I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.  I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High)
- (Psalms 18:2-3 The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.  I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies)
- (Psalm 28:2 Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary) describe how to praise God for what He has done for us.
- (Psalm 79:13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation) tells us to praise God by passing from generation to generation the knowledge of His goodness, grace, and mercy.
- (Hebrews 13:15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name) tells us that instead of using sacrifices towards God, we are to offer Him praise and thanks. In other words, giving praise is a form of sacrifice.
- (1 Peter 1:7 these trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honour on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world) explains that our faith naturally leads to our praise of God.
- (In Acts 16:25, Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening) we see Paul and Silas praising God and witnessing to other prisoners. It is also worthy to note that they were praising God under horrible circumstances in their lives.
Each of these Scriptures emphasize that praise is an inward & outward expression, to God, in order to tell others how good God is. This is the true foundation of praise. It doesn’t have to be directly correlated with music, and it has nothing to do with putting on a show. True praise comes from deep in the heart, and the outcome is that others see God working in us.
A wonderful prayer of this can be found in the song Mary proclaims while still carrying Jesus in her womb
(Luke 1:46-55 Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
 How my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!
 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
 For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.
 He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him.
 His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
 He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.
 He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands.
 He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful.
 For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever”) Filled with His Spirit and fully aware of His greatness, Mary tells of how magnificent God is. She sings of how great He is, not only to her, but to all people of all nations.
WHAT IS WORSHIP?
Worship, in both the original Greek and Hebrew, convey the idea of: “to prostrate oneself, to bow down, to fall face down, to pay homage and to pay respect.”* In other words, worship is the highest form of honour and respect that we can show towards the Loving Sovereign God. While worship can be done in public, its main directive is very different from praise. Worship is a direct conversation, relationship between you and the God. It is highly intimate and personal. Here are few verses from the Scriptures:
- (Luke 17:15-16, One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!”  He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.)
- (7:36-38 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat.
-  When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume.
-  Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them) explain that by worshipping, we are putting God first in our lives. This coincides with what Jesus said in
- (Matthew 22:35-40 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question:  “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”  Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”) When He quoted the greatest commandment from the Old Testament.
- (Isaiah 29:13 And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.) explains the difference between worshipping by human rules as opposed to worshipping from the heart.
- (John 4:23-24 But the time is coming-indeed it’s here now-when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.  For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”) tells us that all may worship God, and that we are to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
- (Romans 1:25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen) explains how we can be deceived and worship the things God has created rather than worshiping Him who is the Creator.
There is great importance to be placed on worship. The devil himself knew this, which is why he made it the final temptation for Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:8-10 Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”  “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him'”). What we worship is who and what we will follow. Worship goes beyond words and feelings. It is the foundation for our true relationship with the God. This is why worship is so intimate ― it defines our relationship with Him. There is nothing on this earth, or in our lives, that is more important than our relationship with God.
Praise and worship clearly go beyond something we do in church or at a concert and that believers must pray and worship in Spirit and truth. Accepting Lord Jesus Christ as the Lord and personal saviour is a complete way of life style for one who follows Christ. Praise and worship are in fact to be the foundation on which we live our lives. Without both, we can’t possibly be effective at being the hands and feet of God. To accomplish this, worship of God and of Him alone must be a first priority at all times. Through our worship of Him and the intimacy that comes through such worship, praise for Him will naturally flow from our actions and words. In doing this our lives will be a true reflection of Christ, from the inside out.