All the earth worships you and sings praises to you… Psalm 66:4
We are commanded throughout scripture to praise God and to worship Him alone. The terms are similar, but not synonymous. Praise is easy. We praise people for a job well done: kids for good grades, a neighbor for mowing our lawn, or a spouse for taking out the trash. Praise doesn't cost us anything. It is a reward for performance. Through words, music, or dance, we can praise God for the great things He has done. Praising God is good, but we should not limit our heart’s expression to praise only.
Part of God’s mysterious nature is the requirement to worship Him alone. Worship is the losing of oneself in the adoration of someone or something greater. The human spirit is designed for worship, and if we are not worshiping the Lord, we will worship something else. Sports stadiums and rock concerts are filled with worshipers. Shopping malls and casinos pack in the worshipers every weekend. Worship is where we go to find validation and purpose. In order to worship God, we must set aside our pride and acknowledge His right to rule over us. Worship reminds us that we are not God. We can praise God for what He has done, but we worship God for Who He is. To experience true communion with Him, we need both.
Consider the differences between praise and worship. Are you practicing both in your communication with God?